Biden gaffe as President stumbles and reads instructions from teleprompter out loud during Nato speech

Joe Biden Nato speech

Joe Biden had another gaffe during his Nato speech in Washington DC

Charlie Peters

By Charlie Peters

Published: 10/07/2024

- 09:40

The Potus read an instruction to invite the military on stage after awarding Jens Stoltenberg the Presidential Medal of Freedom

US President Joe Biden read an instruction from a teleprompter in a major speech last night in another public gaffe as colleagues call for him to stand down amid concerns about his capacity to beat Donald Trump.

Mr Biden read "ask the military to come forward", a direction, and not a part of his speech, after announcing that he would award Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary-General of Nato, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The president’s eyes were locked to the teleprompter as he addressed Mr Stoltenberg, who appeared on stage as Mr Biden introduced America’s highest civilian honour.

The gaffe last night comes after another teleprompter issue in April, when Mr Biden said “Four more years. Pause,” reading an instruction from the teleprompter.

Joe Biden Nato speechJoe Biden had another gaffe during his Nato speech in Washington DCReuters

The president has spoken mostly from prepared remarks in public speeches ahead of the campaign, relying heavily on teleprompters.

The 81-year-old president delivered his speech with some occasional awkwardness, stumbling over a few sentences.

The teleprompter speech comes as Democrats in Congress continue to discuss and plot on whether Mr Biden should remain as the party’s nomination for the November elections after a debate performance termed by allies as "disastrous" on June 27.

Biden told a rally of supporters the next day that he was not a young man anymore and that he does not “debate as well as I used to”, but stressed that he can still “do this job” and that he knows “how to tell the truth.”


Joe Biden, Jens Stoltenberg

Biden announced that he would award Jens Stoltenberg the Presidential Medal of Freedom


Mr Biden delivered his speech in Washington last night soon after his press secretary faced a barrage of questions about the president’s health, with reporters probing for more information on doctors’ visits and clarifications on letters issued by the White House.

Mr Biden’s speech opening the Nato summit also came moments after Rep. Mikie Sherrill called on him to end his campaign for re-election, adding to a growing number of Democratic colleagues who want a new candidate to lead them into the November elections.

Several other Democrats in the House of Representatives have made public statements calling on Biden to stand down, with journalists in Washington reporting that others have privately agreed.

The swirling concerns about Mr Biden’s capacity to operate independently and without a teleprompter come ahead of a press conference scheduled for tomorrow with at least three reporters.

Nato summit

Nato members met in Washington DC for the latest summit


The White House Press Secretary has said that this will be a “big boy press conference” after concerns have been raised about Mr Biden avoiding public press conferences and extended sit-down interviews.

Meanwhile David Sanger, New York Times White House and National Security Correspondent, said the speech last night was one of Biden’s best.

“It was among his best-delivered speeches in recent times, reminiscent of some he delivered in Poland in the first two years of the war.”

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