Joe Biden's 'Where's Mom?' Remarks Go Viral as Critics Jump on Apparent Confusion

Comments by President Joe Biden asking about the mother of a guest attending a White House event on Monday have gone viral, and critics of the president have jumped on the confusion.

Speaking at an event celebrating the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Biden at one point asked artist Tyree Brown: "Where's Mom?"

He also used the wrong name for Representative Jim Langevin, a Democrat representing Rhode Island's 2nd congressional district and the first quadriplegic person to serve in the U.S. Congress. While welcoming attendees by name, Biden only said the first part of Langevin's surname and then misidentified his first name.

Biden said: "Chairman Leahy, Leader McCarthy, Senator Casey, Congressman Scott, Congressman La - where is he?"

"There you are, Paul," Biden said. "You understand this better than anybody does. And I want to thank you, Congressman, for all your work. And I want to thank you all for being here."

However, Biden was referring to Representative Langevin, whose first name is Jim. The White House transcript of the event included his error, but noted Langevin's correct first name in square brackets.

Immediately after addressing Langevin, Biden turned his attention to Brown, an artist from Maryland who introduced the president before his remarks. He asked her if her mother was present.

"Second — by the way, where's mom? Mom — is she here?" Biden asked.

According to the White House transcript, Brown replied: "She's at home watching."

"Oh, she's watching," Biden said, and Brown replied: "She's watching."

Joe Biden forgets a congressman’s name, then confuses whether a guest’s mother is attending the event.

“Where’s mom? Mom?” pic.twitter.com/YxOMsKprQr

— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 26, 2021

"Okay. I thought she looked — I said, 'Mom is out there.' I was going to ask her to stand up. But, Mom, you can't stand up if you're home," Biden said.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) Research Twitter account shared a video of the president's remarks to Langevin and Brown that has now been watched 6,800 times. A YouTube video of the moment posted by the GOP War Room account had been viewed more than 106,000 at the time of writing

"Joe Biden forgets a congressman's name, then confuses whether a guest's mother is attending the event. Where's mom? Mom?'" the account tweeted on Monday.

Several Twitter users also highlighted Biden's comments, with many framing them in a critical way, while some who commented on the GOP War Room's YouTube video questioned the president's competence.

Biden spoke about the importance of the ADA and how people with disabilities were treated before the act became law in 1990. It was signed by then President George H.W. Bush, a Republican. The act affords people with disabilities protection from discrimination and imposes accessibility requirements in public accommodation, among other measures.

"But many of us can still recall an America where a person with a disability was denied service in restaurants and grocery stores, and could be; where a person using a wheelchair couldn't ride on a train or take a bus to work or to school; where an employer could refuse to hire you because of a disability. An America that wasn't built for all Americans," Biden said.

"Then we passed the ADA and made a commitment to build a nation for all of us. All of us. And we moved America closer to fulfilling that promise of liberty and justice, and maybe most importantly, dignity and equality for all," the president said.

Newsweek has asked the White House for comment.

Biden Gives a Pen to Tyree Brown
U.S. President Joe Biden gives a pen to artist Tyree Brown after signing a proclamation on the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the Rose Garden of the White House on July 26, 2021, in Washington, DC. Biden's remarks asking Brown if her mother was present have gone viral. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images