The mistake came minutes after the president argued that nothing was wrong with his memory or mental acuity.
As he addressed the US response to the Israel–Hamas war, Biden said: “As you know, initially, the president of Mexico, Sissi, did not want to open up the gate to allow humanitarian material to get in. I talked to him. I convinced him to open the gate.”
The president of Mexico is Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Biden called the last-minute press conference on Thursday to address Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report, in which Hur offers a harsh assessment of Biden’s memory and recall abilities.
Biden sharply pushed back against Hur’s conclusions, which stated that the president is a “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”
In response, Biden said on Thursday: “My memory’s fine. Take a look at what I’ve done since I became president…how did that happen? I guess I just forgot what was going on.”
But Biden’s age and cognitive abilities have been a prime target for his Republican opponents, including former president Donald Trump, who has faced scrutiny recently over his own age.
Also in his speech on Thursday, Biden hit out Hur’s claims that he forgot his son, Beau, died.
In his report, Hur said that Biden’s memory faced “significant limitations” which left him “struggling to remember events,” including which years he was Vice President or when his son Beau died.
Reacting to the report, Biden said: “There is even reference that I don’t remember when my son died. How in the hell dare he raise that? Frankly when I was asked the question I thought to myself ‘wasn’t any of their damn business.’
“Let me tell you something…since the day he died – every single day – I wear the rosary [bracelet] he got. Every Memorial Day we hold a service remembering him attended by friends and family and people who loved him.
“I don’t need anyone to remind me of when he passed away.”