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#Dementia: Biden has struggled with names of Cabinet members, lawmakers and other politicians


President Biden seems to have a spotty memory when it comes to names and details. 

On Monday, the president appeared to forget Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s name during a White House event, calling the Pentagon chief "the guy who runs that outfit over there."

"And I want to thank the sec -- the, the, ah former general. I keep calling him general, but my, my -- the guy who runs that outfit over there," Biden said.

In December, Biden announced his pick to lead Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, but introduced him with the wrong name and title. "For Secretary of Health and Education Services, I nominate Xavier Bacheria," Biden had said while reading from the teleprompter. A moment later, Biden correctly pronounced Becerra's last name.

Biden, 78, made history as the oldest person to ever assume the presidency. 

Last month, appearing in Houston, Biden thanked Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, whom he referred to as "Shirley Jackson Lee. 

In October 2020, the then-Democratic candidate mispronounced the name of his running mate, now-Vice President Kamala Harris. She says her name is pronounced "comma-la," where Biden pronounced it "camel-a."

On the campaign trail, Biden called former President Donald Trump "Donald Hump," before making light of the slip and drawing a laugh from the crowd. 

"If Donald Hump, Donald Trump, Freudian slip, if Donald Trump is re-elected he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation," Biden said at the New Hampshire Democratic Convention. 

Trump was the second-oldest person to assume the presidency, at 70 years old. He, too, had a few gaffes when it came to names, calling his vice president "Mike Pounce" at a House GOP retreat in Baltimore in September 2019, appearing to call GOP leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., "Steve" in January 2019. That same year, he called former National Security Advisor John Bolton "Mike Bolton."

The two septuagenarian presidents engaged in a war of the wits on the campaign trail, with Trump pressuring Biden to take an IQ test. 

"He’s not as smart as Bernie, and he’s not as quick," Trump said in an interview with a Boston radio station in May 2020, referring to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. 

"Biden doesn't know, I mean, he doesn't know he's alive," Trump told WJLA at the time. 

When asked that August if he had taken a test for cognitive decline, Biden responded: "No, I haven't taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test?"



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