Some Republicans and conservatives mocked President Joe Biden after he had mistaken Canada for China during his address to the Canadian parliament on Friday when he spoke about Canadian migration policies.
“In the United States we’re expanding legal pathways for migration to seek safety on a humanitarian basis, while discouraging unlawful migration that feeds exploitation and human trafficking. So today I applaud China for stepping up. Excuse me, Canada. I applaud Canada…you can tell what I am thinking about China, we won’t get into that yet,” Biden said as members of the parliament broke into brief laughter before he continued his speech, saying, “I applaud Canada for stepping up for similar programs opening up legal pathways.”
Biden and some of his family members have been heavily criticized by Republicans and conservatives over a recent GOP-led probe alleging that Hunter Biden, his uncle James Biden, and Hallie Biden, who was married to Hunter’s late brother Beau Biden, received $1.3 million from an associate who had ties with a Chinese energy company.
Republicans have repeatedly called for investigations into Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings in an effort to determine whether his father was involved in those dealings when he served as vice president during former President Barack Obama’s administration. However, to this day, no evidence was found to prove that Joe Biden was involved in his son’s business affairs.
Representative Byron Donalds, a Florida Republican, who is a member of the House Oversight Committee, pointed out Biden’s speech mistake, tweeting, “Gaffe or Freudian slip? Biden ‘accidentally’ praises China when addressing the Canadian Parliament. China is on his mind, and the @HouseGOP knows why.”
The Republican National Committee (RNC) Research Twitter account and Greg Price, the communications director of the State Freedom Caucus Network, also shared the clip of Biden’s China slip.
“It’s even funnier when you realize that we just learned members of Biden’s family got millions of dollars from a Chinese energy company and how the biggest political story in Canada right now is how China interfered in their last two elections to elect Trudeau’s party,” Price wrote, referring to reports containing intelligence information leaked earlier this month, alleging that China interfered in Canada’s recent federal election.
The alleged reports prompted Canada’s opposition leaders to push Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to investigate those allegations of Chinese attempts to swing the result of two federal elections in its favor, according to The Guardian. The Canadian prime minister then announced that he would appoint a special rapporteur to investigate allegations of foreign interference.
Meanwhile, other Twitter users on Friday mocked Biden for his speech mistake, with account user The Real Andy Lee Show saying, “President Joe Biden during his speech in the House of Commons: ‘So today, I applaud China for stepping up – excuse me – I applaud Canada…’ Common mistake Joe. We are having trouble telling them apart as well.”
“Joe Biden: ‘I applaud China…’ We know…,” wrote Steve Guest, special adviser for communications for GOP Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Meanwhile, Twitter user Jack Danger said: “BREAKING NEWS: Joe Biden says the quiet part out loud, tells the world what he is really thinking! BIDEN: ‘I applaud China for stepping up, excuse me, I applaud Canada.'”
Other Twitter users defended the president, arguing that it was an honest mistake and that those who mocked him had taken his remarks out of context.
“No…just some out of context clip. you people need to grow up,” Twitter user Stan wrote in response to Representative Donalds’ tweet about Biden.
Twitter user Passizle (Puh-Sizzle) wrote, referring to Donalds, “Every day I thank the universe that there are people like you to remind people like me why we should never vote GOP.”
“Biden mistakes Canada for China in his speech to Canadian Parliament. Easy mistake to make. Perhaps an unconscious reference to Canada’s ongoing Chinese election interference scandal?” said Michael P Senger, author of Snake Oil: How Xi Jinping Shut Down the World.
Newsweek reached out to the White House by email for comment.