During his speech at the Human Rights Campaign’s annual dinner, President Joe Biden encountered several notable glitches and made some questionable claims. Notably, a moment of confusion occurred when he attempted to address “Extreme MAGA Republicans” and their alleged efforts to undo progress, including banning “Pride flags from flying on public lands.” He started a sentence with “Who the hell—” but then appeared to draw a blank.
Biden went on to make an outlandish claim that gay people are being thrown out of restaurants in the United States. He asserted that individuals could be married in the morning and then discriminated against for being gay later in the day, suggesting a pervasive issue. While such incidents do occur, they are not limited to one specific group. Conservatives, like Fox News’s Gianno Caldwell and former Trump administration official Sarah Huckabee Sanders, have also faced discrimination and expulsion from restaurants.
The audience at the event largely consisted of those sympathetic to Biden’s positions, which might explain the lack of pushback on his statements. Biden then attempted to highlight his foreign policy record regarding LGBTQ+ rights, saying that his administration prioritized human rights for the global LGBTQ+ community. He claimed they increased assistance to activists fighting for LGBTQ+ rights worldwide and defended human rights against countries passing anti-LGBTQ+ laws. This assertion came under scrutiny, as Biden had recently unfrozen $6 billion in assets to Iran, a nation where homosexuality is punishable by death. Moreover, LGBTQ+ Palestinians lack civil rights protections, despite receiving federal funding.
The event concluded with a notable moment where Jill Biden came on stage to assist her husband offstage, emphasizing concerns about his cognitive abilities and fitness for future political campaigns and terms.