Earlier today, storied orator Donald Trump broke his legendary silence over Joe Biden’s coy comments from over the weekend about whether he would run for president.
Joe Biden got tongue tied over the weekend when he was unable to properly deliver a very simple line about his decision to run for President. Get used to it, another low I.Q. individual!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2019
“I know I get criticized,” Biden said during in Delaware on Saturday. “I have the most progressive record of anybody running for the–anybody who would run.”
When the attending audience applauded Biden’s slip of the tongue, the not-quite-candidate continued: “I didn’t mean… Of anybody who would run.”
It’s amazing that, out of all the possible digs one could make about Joe Biden, Donald Trump chose to go with gaffes. (Admittedly, going after Biden’s notorious handsiness or track record with Supreme Court nominees accused of sexual misconduct would be equally hypocritical.) Trump attacking anyone for being bad at talking is like Mr. Magoo trying to berate a roomful of blind men for their lack of vision, but instead yelling at a duck-filled pond because he can’t see anything.
The President of the United States has a way with words, and that way is: Bad. It’s so bad, in fact that some worry he has a cognitive defect. As psychologist Ben Michaelis told The Atlantic recently, Trump has exhibited a “clear reduction in linguistic sophistication over time,” with “simpler word choices and sentence structure.”
And that’s when he says exactly what he wants to say! Here are 9 ways Trump is constantly misspeaking that make Joe Biden look like an elocution instructor in comparison.
“I meant to say that.”
Reading a teleprompter is no easy feat. Well, it’s a little easy, but less so when millions and millions of people are watching. Trump will often misread simple teleprompted words–mixing up “though” and “through,” for instance–as just about anyone adjusting to the presidential learning curve might. However, when Trump does it, he refuses to take ownership of the flub, which is how we end up with his telling parents they must “sacrifice for the furniture and future of their children.”
Trump has a history of saying things and later denying he said them, but it’s almost equally weird for him to misspeak and then deny that he just did that. Here’s a Chris Hayes-procured fail compilation of Trump pretending he didn’t just misspeak.
What’s in a name?
Whether he is calling Tim Cook “Tim Apple” (and later pretending he meant to do so), mixing up Kevin McCarthy with Steve Scalise, misidentifying staffers, or simply forgetting Justice Anthony Kennedy’s last name altogether, the president has a markedly uneven success rate with the whole “people’s names” thing.
LOLOL I missed this live but Trump totally could not remember Justice Anthony Kennedy's name at the beginning of his press event
"Justice… Anthony……. you know who I'm talking about." pic.twitter.com/9CDJtSV7Uz
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 27, 2018
This must not be the place
Trump is not particularly good with places either. He has bellowed a hardy “Hello, St. Louis!” to a crowd in Kansas City, and more embarrassingly, he addressed the residents of the fire-ravaged town ironically called Paradise as though they lived in a sexy village called “Pleasure.”
Song lyrics are not his strong suit either
A porn star president who miraculously still enjoys the full support of the evangelical vote and is constantly hugging flags, should probably have the lyrics to “God Bless America” down pat. But alas.
He also can’t seem to get the numbers right
Trump is a serial exaggerator when it comes to numbers. According to him there’s always way more of [Good Thing] than there actually is, or incidents of [Bad Thing] are way down because of Trump. The numbers may be off in those moments, but at least Trump is saying what he intends to say. Such was not the case when, at a 2016 campaign event, he mistakenly referred to the tragedy of 9/11 as “7-Eleven.”
A heavy Twitter-thumb
Admittedly, this is more an issue of getting thumb-tied rather than tongue-tied, but Trump has tweeted some real humdinger typos throughout his presidency–covfefe, hamberders, and smocking gun, to name a few–and then later pretended they were intentional.
Slurring his speech
Every now and then, Trump just straight-up slurs his words, most prominently during the final excruciating minute of a 2017 speech about Jerusalem.
Some words are trickier than others
Whom among us has never needed several attempts to correctly pronounce the word “anonymous”?
Going off on incoherent tangents
If you can understand what Trump meant by the below sentence, tweet @FastCompany for a complimentary thumbs-up: “We like the — we like the — it’s just a flowing. They do comma. They don’t do — they do a comma.”
Of course, the only time Trump ever admitted to making a verbal flub was a time when he probably meant exactly what he said.