President Joe Biden’s trip to South Florida this week is unlikely to save Democrat Charlie Crist’s campaign against incumbent Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
But it did further Biden’s well-earned reputation for miscues, mental lapses, and outright lies.
The conservative website Townhall.com noted Biden’s mangled grasp of reality and history in a tweet on Tuesday. According to a brief video the group posted, Biden:
Claimed he has “no greater friend in the United States Senate” than Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The problem is that the Miami Democrat is in the House, where she has served since 2005.
Forgot what FEMA stands for. Biden called it “Federal Emergency Management Assistance.” The “A” stands for agency.
Stated his last visit to Florida, just a few weeks ago, was for Hurricane Ivan instead of Ian, and he then mispronounced it as “ion.”
Blamed inflation on “the war in Iraq.” He later corrected this to Ukraine. But Biden also compounded this gaffe by saying, “I think of Iraq because that’s where my son died.” Beau Biden did serve in Iraq, but he died in a Maryland hospital in 2015, six years after he left Iraq.
Finally, the topper was when Biden said he met the man who discovered insulin.
“How many of you know somebody with diabetes who needs insulin?” Biden began. He then went on to explain how the Inflation reduction Act would bring down the price of the drug.
Biden left out that insulin will cost $35 a dose under his plan, which is far higher than the $10 Republicans proposed during the debate on the bill.
Nonetheless, he said of insulin, “It was invented by a man who did not patent it because he wanted it available for everyone.”
“I spoke to him,” he added.
If he did, it was at a seance.
In 1923, the Nobel Prize committee awarded the medal for Physiology or Medicine to Frederick Banting and John James Richard Macleod. It was, as the presentation speech noted, “for the discovery of insulin.”
The issue here is that Macleod died in March 1935. Banting followed Macleod in death in February 1941.
Biden was born in November 1942.
It is possible, although highly unlikely, that Biden talked to one of two researchers who helped Banting and Macleod. They died in 1965 and 1978, respectively.
But Biden’s reference to the idea that insulin was not patented — although it really was — matches with a comment Banting made, as noted by the website Diabetes UK.
“Insulin does not belong to me, it belongs to the world,” Banting reportedly said. As Diabetes UK added, “He wanted everyone who needed it to have access to it.”
Ironically, DeSantis was just as happy to see Biden in Florida as Crist was.
Appearing on Sean Hannity’s show Tuesday night, the host suggested that the incumbent must be worried about Biden’s appearance.
DeSantis joked that Biden actually had given him an in-kind campaign contribution.
“I think it’s an in-kind contribution to my campaign,” DeSantis said of Biden’s visit.
“I just want to make the offer publicly. We will underwrite him to stay in Florida for the rest of the campaign,” the governor added.
“If Joe wants to stay, it’ll be on our dime and we’d love for the people of Florida to be reminded that the Democrats in this state are with Biden 100% of the time.”
Speaking of people with Biden 100 percent of the time, that clearly includes Crist.
As a congressman from Clearwater, Crist voted for Biden’s policies every time — and voting much more liberally than his constituents.
FiveThirtyEight.com analyzed lawmakers’ voting records based on how Biden performed in their districts in 2020. According to its formula, which looked at 88 major votes, Crist was expected to vote with Biden 72 percent of the time on average. Yet he voted with Biden every single time.