WASHINGTON — President Biden misspelled the number “eight” Wednesday during a speech about economic issues in suburban Maryland — shortly after saying in apparent error that his father “never went” to college.
“We have a thousand billionaires in America. You know the average tax rate they pay? Eight — E-I-G-H percent — 8%,” Biden said during a visit to a facility of the International Union of Operating Engineers in Accokeek, fewer than 20 miles from the nation’s capital.
The 80-year-old president’s error recalled other embarrassing political spelling moments, such as former Vice President Dan Quayle changing a 12-year-old student’s accurate spelling of “potato” to “potatoe” at a 1992 spelling bee.
Biden’s remarks focused on blasting proposed budget cuts by House Republicans, who on Wednesday afternoon unveiled legislation that would raise the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion as an apparent opening offer to Biden ahead of anticipated negotiations.
The president also criticized Republicans allied with former President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again movement for proposing cutting the FBI’s budget over alleged political bias, saying it might be because the bureau “maybe arrested some of them,” an apparent reference to Capitol rioters on Jan. 6, 2021.
As he spoke, Biden also relayed questionable biographical information, telling the blue-collar crowd that he can relate to them.
“My dad never went to college. My dad was a decent, honorable man who busted his neck,” the president said.
However, a 2020 article by the York (Pennsylvania) Daily Record stated that Joe Biden Sr. attended the prestigious Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore for one year, citing a 1941 newspaper announcement of his wedding to the future president’s mother.
“Mr. Biden is a graduate of St. Thomas High School and attended Johns Hopkins University. He is a salesman for the American Oil Company,” the vintage clipping said.
The White House did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for clarification.
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