Biden gets foggy talking about daughter's wedding: 'My mind is going blank now'

2September 2021

President Biden appeared to get a bit confused Thursday when recalling his daughter’s wedding during a virtual event to celebrate the start of the Jewish High Holidays.

While much of the event focused on recent anti-Semitic attacks, Afghanistan, and the hope for renewal, the Roman Catholic president ended his remarks by calling for religious collaboration down the road, pointing to his daughter Ashley’s 2012 marriage to Jewish doctor Howard Krein.

“We wanted to have a co-confessional wedding,” Biden said. “And we had a chuppah on the altar, and we had a co- … it was co-officiated. Now, some of you aren’t going to like this, but it was co-officiated by a Catholic priest as well as a Jewish rabbi.”

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President Joe Biden speaks in Washington, Sept. 2, 2021. (Associated Press)

President Joe Biden speaks in Washington, Sept. 2, 2021. (Associated Press)

The president then talked about his favorite Catholic hymn that he requested be played at the wedding. 

“I only asked one thing. There’s a psalm-based, there’s a hymn, my favorite hymn in the Catholic Church based on a psalm, and it’s — it’s a psalm that talks about life.  And so, I — I asked if that ps- — that psalm — that hymn in the Catholic Church,” Biden said

“And it says, ‘May He lift you up on Eagle’s wings and bear you on the breath of dawn, and let the light shine upon you,’ et cetera, and — ‘and hold you in the palm of his hand.’ And they played and … I’m my mind is going blank now.  What’s the song that is played where everybody is on the chair?” Biden added.  “I can’t remember it. Anyway. And that’s the song that was played.”

“My mind is going blank now. What’s the song that is played where everybody is on the chair? I can’t remember it. Anyway. And that’s the song that was played.”

— President Biden

During the same event, Biden also told Jewish leaders that he spent time at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh after the October 2018 massacre left 11 people dead. 

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“I remember spending time at the, you know, going to the, you know, the Tree of Life synagogue, speaking with them,” Biden said in the virtual address.

But Barb Feige, executive director of the Tree of Life since July 2019, told the New York Post that Biden didn’t visit the synagogue in the years after the attack. 

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Last year, the president issued a statement on the second anniversary of the attack, saying “When anti-Semitism is allowed to fester, it shreds the fabric of our communities and erodes our soul,” according to the paper.  

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