US

Joe Biden mistakenly calls Pete Buttigieg’s husband ‘Kirsten’ live on air

Josh Milton December 17, 2020
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Joe Biden mistakenly calls Pete Buttigieg's husband 'Kirsten' live on air

Pete Buttigieg (L) and US president-elect Joe Biden. (KEVIN LAMARQUE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

US president-elect Joe Biden during a televised speech Wednesday (16 December) accidentally referred to Pete Buttigieg’s husband as “Kristen” rather than Chasten.

The 78-year-old slipt but smoothly corrected himself as he formally announced Buttigieg, the former small-town mayor and Democratic rival, as his pick for secretary of transportation.

“Jill and I have always enjoyed seeing Pete and Kirsten,” he said during the address. “Chasten, I should say, together on the [campaign] trail.

“Chasten has become a close friend of Jill’s and mine.”

Biden made a slight stumble earlier this year when he called a gay married couple “mummy and dad” during a live stream.

Joe Biden says his stutter does not ‘define’ who he is

Biden has long been transparent throughout his decades-long as a lawmaker that he has a stutter.

Also known as stammering, it can be provoked by pressure and can cause people to involuntarily slow-chop, repeat or sometimes mispronounce words. People who stutter know exactly what they want to say, but may have trouble producing a normal flow of speech.

Around one per cent of the US population have a stutter according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

The agency, a member of the US National Institutes of Health, added that around five to 10 per cent of children present a stutter, and around a quarter continue to stutter into adulthood.

Biden told The Atlantic that his stutter was callously mocked not only by classmates but by the nuns teaching him in middle school, prompting him to leave the classroom in protest – he was in seventh grade.

Throughout school and college, Biden would pre-play conversations and speeches in his mind, he said, and felt an affinity to the 2010 film The King’s Speech, which explored how King George VI overcame his stutter.

“I was afraid if people knew I stuttered,” Biden said, “they would have thought something was wrong with me.

“It doesn’t,” he interrupted himself, “can’t define who you are.”

 

Related topics: Chasten Buttigieg, Jill Biden, joe biden, Pete Buttigieg, US

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