Joe Biden confuses Angela Merkel with former Chancellor Helmut Kohl

“And then Helmut Kohl turned to me …,” US President Joe Biden tells an anecdote at two different events. But the story couldn’t have happened that way – at the time described, Kohl had already been dead for four years.

The election campaign for the 2024 US presidential election seems to be a battle between the old white men, in which the participants sometimes give each other a shot. On Wednesday, incumbent Joe Biden made a new faux pas: At a campaign event, he confused former Chancellor Angela Merkel with former Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

At a Democratic fundraising event in New York, Biden recounted an alleged conversation he claims to have had with Kohl at the 2021 G7 summit. At that point, however, the CDU politician had already been dead for four years. Biden was referring to the storming of the Capitol after the 2021 US election.

This is how several media outlets quote him: “And then Helmut Kohl turned to me and said: ‘What would you say, Mr. President, if you picked up the ‘London Times’ and found out that 1,000 people were crossing the doors of the British Parliament “We set out and killed a few police officers on the way to prevent the prime minister from taking office?'” Biden said.

Joe Biden already confused the French head of government this week

The summit of the seven industrialized countries took place in June 2021, a few months after the inauguration of Joe Biden. At that time, Angela Merkel was Chancellor, who was head of the German government from 2005 to 2021. If so, then Biden can only have had the conversation with Merkel. Helmut Kohl’s term of office was from 1882 to 1998; he died in 2017. In addition to Germany and the USA, the G7 also includes France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and Canada.

It is the 81-year-old Biden’s second slip of the tongue this week. During a speech in Las Vegas, Biden confused French President Emmanuel Macron with another deceased figure – his predecessor François Mitterrand. Mitterrand was French President from 1981 to 1995 and died in 1996.

The renewed mix-up is likely to provide new fodder for Donald Trump, a former president and possibly a renewed presidential candidate for the Republicans. But Trump is already 77 years old and not free from errors. In January, for example, Trump confused his opponent Nikki Haley with Nancy Pelosi, Democrat and former Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Sources: Politico, New York Post