Former Vice President Joe Biden mixed up Iraq, Iran, and Ukraine while discussing impeachment at a recent town hall in Iowa.
Biden, who has long been known for his gaffes and lapses on the campaign trail, told an audience on Wednesday that ongoing impeachment trial was proof that President Donald Trump and Republicans were worried about him becoming the Democrat nominee.
The former vice president, in particular, claimed that questions about his political influence intersecting with his son’s work in Ukraine were part of an organized smear campaign. The claim, which is disputed by ethics watchdogs in both the U.S. and Ukraine, was further undercut by Biden’s inability to recollect in which country his son was working.
“That’s like just flat out acknowledging, ‘We’ve been doing everything we do to keep Biden from being the nominee, and guess what: we tried it in Iraq, and it’s not working.’ … I mean, in Iran. Excuse me. ‘We tried it in Ukraine,’” the 77-year-old former vice president said:
The gaffe comes as the Iowa caucuses head to a finish, while simultaneously the impeachment trial continues to move forward in the Senate. Biden, who once led his rivals by double digits in the first caucus state, has fallen behind Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), with some speculating he may not place high enough to receive a single delegate.
Biden’s fading position in Iowa is contrasted by the central role he and his youngest son, Hunter, continue to play in the impeachment proceedings. This week, Trump’s legal team laid out its case for why the president had good reason to suggest Ukraine look into Hunter Biden’s role with the Ukrainian natural gas giant, Burisma Holdings. Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a member of the legal team, specifically noted that Hunter was paid $83,000 per month for a role he had little qualification to hold. She further argued the arrangement was rife with potential conflicts of interest, especially because Joe Biden led U.S. policy with Ukraine for most of the Obama administration.
Although the Biden campaign attempted to dismiss Bondi’s argument, the broader point about a culture of corruption permeating the former vice president’s family seems to have taken hold with the mainstream media. Just this past week, Politico published an in-depth exposé on the financial ties between James Biden, the former vice president’s brother, and a high-powered Washington, DC, lobbyist.
The culminating pressure from the campaign trail, the impeachment hearings, and a newly awakened media seem to be having an impact. In recent days, the former vice president has made an increasing number of stumbles and gaffes. The gaffe follows several others Biden has made on the campaign trail in recent days. Most notably, the former vice president elicited attention on Tuesday for pushing a voter and suggesting because of a disagreement about climate change that the man “go vote for someone else.”