Mar 1, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Biden calls Ukrainians "Iranians" during State of the Union

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress in the U.S. Capitol's House Chamber.

President Joe Biden, in a passionate call for supporting for Ukraine against a Russian invasion, mistakenly referred to Ukrainians as "Iranians."

What he said: "Putin may circle Kyiv with tanks, but he'll never gain the hearts and souls of the Iranian people."

The big picture: The slip-up immediately caused the word "Iranian" to trend on Twitter.

  • "Biden: 'Putin will never gain the hearts and minds of the Iranian people!' That's a relief," conservative columnist Ann Coulter tweeted.
  • "Iranian people, Uranium people, Ukrainian people! You know…the thing!" Claremont Institute communication director Nick Short posted on Twitter. ‎‎

The bottom line: The misstep risked drawing attention from his overall message of a united front for Ukraine and against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • Before the mix-up, Biden drew bipartisan applause for supporting Ukraine and announcing that the U.S. would ban Russia for its airspace.

Don't forget: Biden, as a child, struggled with a stutter. He endured bullying until he worked to overcome the speech condition by reciting the words of Yeats and Emerson in the mirror.

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