The Facts About GOP Videos Showing Biden ‘Malfunctioning’ During June 2024 Speech

On June 18, 2024, U.S. President Joe Biden delivered remarks in a crowded East Room in the White House. The Associated Press reported Biden’s speech unveiled “plans for certain U.S. citizens’ spouses without legal status to apply for permanent residency and eventually citizenship without having to first depart the country.” During his remarks, he said he viewed the action as a way of “keeping couples together who are married, where one spouse is a U.S. citizen, the other is undocumented, and they’ve been living in the United States for at least 10 years.”

Biden’s speech marked the 12th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program passed during the administration of former President Barack Obama and then-Vice President Biden.

On the same day, RNC Research (@RNCResearch) on X, the GOP’s official rapid response account, posted (archived) a 9-second video showing Biden speaking at the event. The post’s text caption read, “BIDEN (malfunctioning): ‘…homeland security secretary, uhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhhuhuhuh.'” The end of the post displayed a flushed face emoji.

Reviewing the Full Video

To research this matter, we reviewed a complete video documenting the entire event. The moment in question begins around the 15:36 mark in this YouTube video published by NBC News. (We also note the existence of an official transcript published on the White House website.)

Near the beginning of Biden’s speech, he joked, “My name is Joe Biden. I’m Jill Biden’s husband.” The remark received some laughter and applause from audience members, as readers can hear in the full video.

Biden continued, “Thanks to all the members of Congress and Homeland Security (pause) Secretary.” The president then made inaudible noises for around three seconds. He resumed, saying, “I’m not sure I’m gonna introduce you all the way.”

This was the point when RNC Research chose to end its video.

In the video of Biden’s full speech, he continued, “But all kidding aside, Secretary Mayorkas, as well as Secretary Becerra and advocates and families for law enforcement, faith leaders, everybody who is here.”

A second post (archived) from the RNC Research account featuring an 8-second video highlighted another moment from Biden’s remarks supposedly displaying the president “malfunctioning” again. The post’s text caption read, “Biden’s brain is malfunctioning in real time — yikes!” In the clip, Biden appeared to possibly exhibit signs of his speech impediment. We previously reported in a fact check our confirmation of Biden’s lifelong struggle with a stutter.

Recent Claims About Biden

RNC Research posted the items claiming the videos showed Biden “malfunctioning” days after right-leaning personalities and users criticized other, similar moments featuring the president. Those people claimed Biden suddenly stood still during a Juneteenth concert at the White House, wandered off during a skydiving demonstration in Italy and “froze” at the end of a Los Angeles fundraiser with Obama.

As we previously reported, the apparent implication behind such rumors is that Biden experienced symptoms of some undisclosed medical diagnosis or cognitive issue related to the fact he’s 81. For the record, Biden has not been diagnosed with any cognitive issues related to his age. In the previous reporting, we also noted the people who spread unconfirmed rumors own the responsibility of providing worthy evidence to lend objective credibility to their claim or implied claim.

The White House referred to the videos and related claims as “cheap fakes.” The Poynter Institute’s initiative known as MediaWise defines the term as “photos or videos that have been manipulated using cheaper, more accessible video editing software,” including media featuring edited-out important context in order “to alter the narrative to deceive you and shape your opinion.”

We emailed the White House asking for a statement in response to the “malfunction” claims from the RNC Research account. In a second email, we asked the White House to go into detail about Biden’s purported joke with his reference to “but all kidding aside” while introducing Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. We will update this story if we receive answers to our questions.

Sources

Kasprak, Alex. “Yes, Biden Has Had a Speech Impediment His Whole Life.” Snopes, 7 Mar. 2024, https://www.snopes.com//fact-check/joe-biden-speech-impediment/.

Kim, Seung Min, and Stephen Groves. “Half a Million Immigrants Could Eventually Get US Citizenship under a Sweeping New Plan from Biden.” The Associated Press, 18 June 2024, https://apnews.com/article/president-joe-biden-immigration-border-citizenship-spouses-69b9212c382d9bb265369b29b62622d7.

“LIVE: Biden Marks DACA Anniversary; Announces Order to Protect Undocumented Spouses of U.S. Citizens.” YouTube, NBC News, 18 June 2024, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzwIXZHyFSM.

“Remarks by President Biden at an Event Marking the 12th Anniversary of DACA.” The White House, 19 June 2024, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2024/06/18/remarks-by-president-biden-at-an-event-marking-the-12th-anniversary-of-daca/.

Weedston, Lindsey. “Joe Biden Freezes During White House Juneteenth Event, Becomes A Solid Meme.” The Daily Dot, 12 June 2024, https://www.dailydot.com/memes/joe-biden-freezes/.

Williams, Michael, and Samantha Waldenberg. “Right-Wing Media Outlets Use Deceptively Cropped Video to Misleadingly Claim Biden Wandered off at G7 Summit | CNN Politics.” CNN, 14 June 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/06/14/politics/media-outlets-use-deceptively-edited-video-to-claim-biden-wandered-off-at-g7-summit/index.html.

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