President Biden made multiple false statements during a youth forum at the White House, botching responses about his student debt relief plan and appearing to forget key details at points.
The town hall, which was sponsored by NowThis, featured a variety of youth activists who asked the president candid questions about gun legislation, climate change, abortion access and trans issues. The event was taped on Tuesday and posted online Sunday night.
Biden flubbed a statement about his student loan relief plan, claiming it “passed by a vote or two.” His forgiveness plan was an executive decision that did not go through Congress.
During another answer, the president appeared to forget the name of Roe v. Wade – the landmark 1973 abortion decision that was struck down by the Supreme Court in June.
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“Guess what, we need the same votes we need to overrule Dobbs, to, uh, reinstate, uh, the decision that was struck down by the Court,” he stumbled during a conversation about abortion.
Biden also made a bizarre comment when asked about gun control.
“My legislation says there can be no more than eight bullets in a round, okay?” Biden said, leaving gun enthusiasts scratching their heads on Twitter. Biden appeared to confuse “round” with “magazine.”
During the wide-ranging town hall, Biden also doubled down on his support for progressive policies. He spoke about gun control with Natalie Barden, a 20-year-old activist whose brother was killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.
“I really do think that a ban on assault weapons should be made a priority,” Barden told Biden. “Because, as you said, they’re weapons of war that are not made to kill animals, they’re made to kill people.”
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“And I promise you, I made it a priority from the beginning,” Biden responded. “But you got to vote, vote, vote, vote, vote. We need a couple more Democrats in the Senate.”
Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender TikTok content creator who has millions of followers, asked Biden about supporting the legality of trans-related medical procedures.
“Many states have lawmakers that feel like they can involve themselves in this very personal process,” the trans rights activist began. “Do you think states should have a right to ban gender-affirming healthcare?”
“I don’t think any state or anybody should have the right to do that as a moral question. As a legal question, I just think it’s wrong,” Biden responded. His administration has been criticized by Republicans for promoting puberty blockers and hormonal treatments for minors.
During another question, Mulvaney asked Biden how Democrats can advocate for trans people more effectively.
“I’m not being facetious when I say this: being seen with people like you,” Biden responded. “I mean it. I genuinely mean it. People fear what they don’t know.”