President Biden had a rather peculiar moment during the U.S.-Pacific Island Forum Summit on Monday when he mistakenly claimed that he and the prime minister of the Cook Islands hailed from Baltimore, despite both lacking any ties to the Maryland city. This bewildering outburst occurred as Mr. Biden hosted the leaders of South Pacific nations in Washington over the course of two days.
Amid the summit, President Biden made the surprising announcement that the United States would establish diplomatic relations with the Cook Islands and Niue in order to counter China’s increasing influence in the South Pacific. He then proceeded to explain why the two nations would benefit from such ties, only to abruptly declare that they were both from Baltimore. The audience was left taken aback as Mr. Biden placed his hand on the shoulder of Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown, who nervously laughed along.
Now, let’s set the record straight: President Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and later moved to Delaware at the tender age of eleven when his family relocated for his father’s job. He then went on to serve as a senator from Delaware for an impressive span of over thirty years before assuming the role of vice president in the Obama administration. Interestingly enough, there is absolutely no public record of him ever living or attending school in Baltimore or its surrounding suburbs.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) September 26, 2023
As for Prime Minister Mark Brown, he was born in the Cook Islands in 1963 and attended school in New Zealand. There is zero evidence to suggest that he has ever lived a substantial portion of his life in the United States, let alone the city of Baltimore. So, it’s safe to say that Mr. Biden’s claim was nothing short of astonishing.
The Baltimore blunder was just one of many gaffes made by President Biden during his remarks that day. He also stumbled over Mr. Brown’s title and failed to recall the name of America’s Pacific Island Strategic Infrastructure Initiative. In a moment of comical confusion, he even questioned whether he should hand the floor to Mr. Brown or Secretary of State Antony Blinken, seeking guidance from the latter.
All in all, it was an eventful day for President Biden, filled with memorable moments and a touch of perplexity. One can only hope that his future public appearances will be marked by a tad more coherence and a lot less geographical ambiguity.