President Joe Biden struggled to deliver a speech from his teleprompter on Sunday while saluting the Kennedy Center Honorees at the White House.
During the address, the president spoke about singer Gladys Knight, one of the nominees, recalling a performance she delivered in Delaware.
“She’s performed on the biggest stages, but a point of personal privilege, I think her performance in 1919 at the 100th anniversary of the Delaware State Fair was pretty special,” Biden said, without correcting himself.
The president was likely referring to a Gladys Knight performance in Delaware in 2019, as both Biden and Knight were not even born in 1919.
“Down at the fair, they speak like y’all do down in Atlanta, you know what I mean?” Biden added, adopting a Southern accent.
Biden also called Knight the “Express of Soul” without correcting himself, when he should have said “Empress of Soul”
“I speak for all of America when I say, ‘We’d rather live in your world than be without you in ours,’” he said to Knight, as the audience applauded.
“I told her I think I have about every one of her songs on my phone,” he added, “Because I remember them. She was only 12 when she was making them.”
Biden also struggled while honoring Cuban-born singer Tania Leon, calling her “Tiana” during his remarks.
Other honorees included actor George Clooney, who Biden jokingly called “Amal Clooney’s husband” and tried to flatter Clooney’s mother by telling her that she “looks more like his sister.”
The president also spoke warmly about Bono and the artists of the Band U2 comparing them to his favorite Irish poets.
“At a moment when there’s too much hate, too much anger, too much division here in America and, quite frankly, around the world, we have to remember today, as their song goes, ‘We’re one, but we’re not the same. We get to carry each other,’” he said.