So much for the discipline of messages.
President Biden repeatedly disparaged Afghanistan as a ‘god-forsaken place’ on Friday and jokingly threatened to use ‘my shotgun’ to protect the US economy from a recession during a rambling speech at San Diego.
The president, who turns 80 later this month, also brought up his late father’s return as a ghost to ‘stangle me’ and confused Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett with the CEO of General. Motors, Mary Barra.
“Many of you have been to Afghanistan. I’ve been to every part of it. This is a God forsaken place – this is a God forsaken place,” Biden said, after using the term another time when recounting being part of a 2008 Congressional trip that ran aground in the snow.
Referring to entire countries in negative terms can be offensive. Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, for example, sparked weeks of outrage by allegedly privately referring to economically underdeveloped countries as “s-thole” countries.
Biden then touted data released Friday showing the US economy added 261,000 jobs in October.
“The New York Times…called the report the Goldilocks report. I have my shotgun waiting for the wolf,’ he joked – despite the fact that his chief spokeswoman, Karine Jean-Pierre, said on Thursday that the White House was so confident in the economy that it is holding “no meetings” to prepare for a potential slowdown.
Much of Biden’s speech appeared to deviate from his prepared remarks, which were meant to focus on passing this year’s bipartisan $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act.
The president also reiterated that he had spoken with one of the scientists who discovered insulin about his decision to oppose patenting it – despite the fact that it would have been chronologically impossible – while describing his efforts to limit consumer costs.
“I talked to the guy who invented insulin. He said he didn’t patent it because he wanted it to be available to everyone,” Biden said on Friday, reiterating a claim he made on Tuesday.
Dr. Frederick Banting and Professor John James Richard Macleod won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1923 for their discovery of insulin two years earlier. While both men refused to put their names on the insulin patent because they felt it was unethical to restrict its use, Banting died in 1941 and Macleod in 1935.
Biden was born in 1942.
Two other doctors were involved in the discovery of insulin, but both are named on the patent, contrary to Biden’s claim. James Collip died in 1965, the year Biden entered law school, and Charles Best died in 1979. Collip and Best transferred the patent rights to the University of Toronto for $1.
The president also pledged on Friday to have a “talk to the Lord with the oil companies” very soon on the drop in gas prices and pledged to move forward with the development of renewable energy sources.
“We are going to close these [coal] plants all over America, and having wind and sun,” he said.
Before leaving for Chicago, Biden also told his audience that there were ‘bright spots’ in the news, including low unemployment – despite inflation still being very high at 8.2% in September, the most recent month for which data are available.
“As president, I will not buy the argument that our problem is too many Americans getting good jobs,” Biden said. “My father would come down from the sky and strangle me.”
The California shutdown continued the president’s trend of campaigning for the 2022 midterm elections in reliable Democratic states. Later Friday, Biden was scheduled to address a reception in deep blue Chicago before campaigning in Yonkers on behalf of embattled New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Sunday.
In the meantime, the president will return to his home state of Pennsylvania to rally for Democrats with his former boss, former President Barack Obama.
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