Biden appears to read aloud teleprompter cue during speech about Israel and Ukraine conflicts

October 21, 2023
Ben Marquis

In what some view as a sign of his declining cognitive capabilities, President Joe Biden seems to struggle at times in reading the remarks prepared for him off a teleprompter.

That may be what occurred Thursday during Biden's televised primetime address, during which he appeared to read aloud from the teleprompter certain instructions intended only for him, according to the Washington Examiner.

"Make it clear"

President Biden delivered a rare primetime Oval Office address Thursday night to make the case for continued U.S. support for Israel against Hamas and Ukraine against Russia and to preview a request to Congress for more supplemental funding for those conflicts and other national security issues.

While speaking to the potential threat that Russia and President Vladimir Putin pose to the rest of Europe, Biden said, "For 75 years, NATO has kept peace in Europe and has been the cornerstone of American security. And if Putin attacks a NATO Ally, we will defend every inch of NATO which the treaty requires and calls for."

"We will have something that we do not seek -- make it clear: we do not seek -- we do not seek to have American troops fighting in Russia or fighting against Russia," he added. It is believed by some critics that the "make it clear" remark was a reminder for him to emphasize not seeking war with Russia and was not intended to be read aloud by Biden.

Not his first teleprompter flub

The New York Post reported that this is not the first time that President Biden has seemingly read aloud his teleprompter instructions, with one prominent example coming during a speech last year to denounce the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision that overruled the Roe v. Wade abortion precedent.

Biden said, "One of the most extraordinary parts of the decision in my view is the majority writes, and I quote, 'Women … ' -- it’s a quote now, from the majority -- 'women are not without electoral or political power. It is noteworthy that the percentage of women who registered to vote and cast a ballot is consistently higher than the percentage of the men who do so.' End of quote."

The president then said "Repeat the line" and, apparently as instructed, read the quote once again in full -- though the White House pushed back on the claims that he had read aloud his teleprompter instructions and instead insisted that Biden had actually said, "Let me repeat the line."

Biden's request for more security funding from Congress

Setting aside President Biden's apparent teleprompter struggles, he may also face difficulty in securing the additional national security funding he seeks from Congress, not the least of which is the fact that the Speaker-less House couldn't legislatively move on the request even if it wanted to.

According to CNN, Biden's Office of Management and Budget Director Sholanda Young sent a letter to Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-NC) that outlined some of the details of the president's approximately $105 billion ask.

That includes around $61 billion for Ukraine and $14 billion for Israel -- though roughly two-thirds of those figures will go toward replenishing the Defense Department's dwindling weapons stockpiles -- as well as around $13 billion for the southern U.S. border, $7 billion for the Indo-Pacific region and Taiwan, and another $9 billion for general humanitarian aid.

Americans are concerned about Biden's physical and mental health

President Biden's teleprompter fumbles only serve to bolster the perception held by about three-fourths of the American people that the president lacks the physical and mental health and capabilities to effectively serve in his role, much less run for and serve a second four-year term in office.

Indeed, a poll in September from CNN found that 73% were "seriously concerned" about his "physical and mental competence," with 76% doubting his ability to complete a second term, while an NBC News poll similarly found that 74% had either "major" or "moderate concerns" that Biden lacked the "necessary mental and physical health to be president for a second term."

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