President Joe Biden delivered remarks and took questions at a presser in Vietnam on Sunday and, among several remarks that sent social media spinning, randomly stated that he was “going to bed” after tapering off during a question about President Xi Jinping of China. And that is just one of several odd moments that took place.
The President was in India for the G20 summit and held a presser in Hanoi, Vietnam during which the pre-selected reporters he called on all had at least one thing in common.
Toward the end he was asked about U.S.-China relations by VOA correspondent Anita Powell, and specifically that he hasn’t spoken with Xi in 10 months.
Biden’s answer went on about how Xi is facing many crises at home, and he said he doesn’t see the lack of recent communication as having a negative impact on relations.
“As a matter of fact,” he said. “I think it’s less likely to cause that kind of conflict.”
“And look, nobody likes having celebrated international meetings, if you don’t know what you want at the meeting. If you don’t have a game plan. He may have a game plan. He just hasn’t shared it with me,” said Biden haltingly. “But I tell you what, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to go to bed.”
The odd comment went viral on X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday, but it wasn’t the only Biden comment that did so.
Just before the question about China, coming off a story about a line delivered by John Wayne to “an Indian,” which ended with Biden doing his faux whispering routine, the president became obviously confused about who to call on next.
“Let’s see,” he said. “I’m just following my orders here.”
He then paused for and excruciatingly long, full 12 seconds of silence, broken up only by his loudly saying “Uhhh” about three seconds in.
He then asked, “staff, is there anybody I haven’t spoken to?” That caused a number of reporters to begin trying to ask questions, which then resulted in Biden harshly snapping, “I ain’t calling on ya! I’m calling on, it says I have five questions!”
He then growled, “Anita! VOA,” which was the question above about China.
Eventually, he seemed to be cut off mid-ramble to end the event. As he was saying the words, “he came up to me and he said,” he was interrupted by staff telling everyone the presser was over. But he did manage to squeeze in a “thank you” before they played the “please leave the stage” music.
Questions about Biden’s advanced age and mental well-being have plagued his presidency and particularly his 2024 reelection bid that certainly won’t go away following this presser.
Watch the clips above via The White House on YouTube.