Scott Morrison laughed off the embarrassing moment when President Joe Biden forgot his name by saying that it happens to the best of us.
The slip up occurred during a virtual press conference on Thursday morning to announce a new alliance between Australia, the US and the United Kingdom.
When it was his turn to talk, 78-year-old Joe Biden thanked UK leader Boris Johnson, who had spoken before him, but then forgot the Australian Prime Minister’s name.
‘Thank you, Boris, and I want to thank…’ he began, before an uncomfortable pause in which he turned and pointed to the screen showing Scott Morrison’s smiling face.
‘That fella Down Under… Thank you very much, pal… Appreciate it, Mr Prime Minister,’ he continued.
In an interview on Melbourne’s Fox radio on Friday, Scott Morrison laughed as he was played a clip of the moment.
‘It happens to the best of us,’ he quipped.
Asked if Joe Biden had text him to say sorry, Scott Morrison said that there was need for that and that it was all good, and he added that he did refer to him privately when they speak as ‘pal’ and that it was an expression that he used a fair bit.
Media pundits were keen to point out the awkward blunder.
Today show host Karl Stefanovic said after the press conference was aired live that it was a very political announcement.
‘But that fella from Down Under, I mean totally awks.’
Nine political editor Chris Uhlmann responded that it was almost as awkward as the acronym AUKUS, Australia, United Kingdom and the United States.
Americans, Australians, and Britons immediately flocked to social media to laugh at the bizarre moment.
One American woman tweeted that it was just a public speaking tip, but that if you were going to mention someone by name, then write it down.
British journalist Graeme Demianyk wrote that Joe Biden calls the Australian prime minister that fella down under and throws in a thank you very much, pal.
The deal will mean Australia will stroll away from its controversial deal to spend up to $90 billion buying French diesel-powered submarines.
This is the first time Australia has embraced nuclear power after decades of debate, and the first time the US and the United Kingdom have shared their nuclear submarines technology with another country.
I’m surprised that Joe Biden can even remember his own name if he can’t remember the name of others, but forgetting things is something that all politicians seem to have in common, and I’m surprised that Joe can remember his wife’s name, let alone his own – this one would be a good one on Spitting Image.
And these senior moments are getting more frequent, but it’s not like Donald Trump ever made a gaffe here and there, although Donald Trump did pass his cognitive tests, it appears that Joe Biden has refused, I wonder why?
Perhaps there should be an age cap when electing someone as important as the president of a country like the US because we just can’t defy the laws of nature, and the last thing that the United Kingdom needs is an alliance with a country with an unstable President – and they thought Donald Trump was a liability.
However, dementia is cruel and shouldn’t be mocked in any way, but it is gravely disturbing that the ruler of the free world and arguably the most influential man on earth possesses the nuclear codes when he’s losing his memory so spectacularly.
And he’s very much open to manipulation, and indeed it’s pretty evident that his role is a highly managed one with his aides shielding him from impromptu press conferences and no doubt writing all of his speeches, and we hope that all of these people have good intentions, but I wouldn’t be so sure of that.