An interview Democratic nominee Joe Biden did with George Lopez went viral Monday as right-wing figures claimed he mistakenly called President Donald Trump “George.” In the clip, Biden does stumble on his words, but is speaking directly to the interviewer.
Trump himself even fanned the flames of the theory on Twitter.
Here’s what Biden said, in full: “This is the most consequential — not because I’m running, but because of who I’m running against — this is the most consequential election in a long, long, long time and the character of the country, in my view, is literally on the ballot. What kind of country are we going to be? Four more years of — George, George — we are going to find ourselves in a position where if Trump gets elected, we’re going to be in a different world.”
The GOP official research arm tweeted the short clip with the caption “Joe Biden confuses President Trump with George W. Bush.” The verified Trump War Room account tweeted it as fact, too, as did Fox News’ Sean Hannity. In the clip they posted, it was not immediately clear that he was addressing Lopez, with whom he did a fundraiser Sunday. In the snippet of video, Lopez is only seen in a small box on screen and it is not evident that he was the one asking Biden questions.
“It’s getting beyond ridiculous. This guy is not up for the job. The left is using him to get in their radicals,” wrote Donald Trump Jr. on Twitter. “Did Biden think he was running against George Bush or George Washington?”
His father, the president, has repeatedly called Biden’s mental capacity into question, baselessly insisting he take a drug test before the first presidential debate. On Monday, he also weighed in, tweeting, “Joe Biden called me George yesterday. Couldn’t remember my name. Got some help from the anchor to get him through the interview. The Fake News Cartel is working overtime to cover it up!”
Ana Navarro, a Republican commentator who has broken with her party and does not support Trump, tweeted, “This is a damn lie. But that won’t stop them This is the kind of unethical crap they do to spread false narratives. @JoeBiden was responding to a direct question from @georgelopez. I know because I was there.”
— Dave Weigel, Re-Animator (@daveweigel) October 26, 2020