Watch: Biden Makes International Headlines for Embarrassing Reason After Awkward Moment With Aussie PM

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Earlier today, Australians got a taste of what we here in America are routinely subjected to on a near-daily basis after a cringeworthy moment between President Joe Biden and Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison was broadcast on a White House live feed as well as some Aussie and United Kingdom news outlets.


Biden held a virtual meeting with Morrison and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson where a “new enhanced trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States [AUKUS]” was announced.

Towards the closing of the meeting, Biden turned towards the screen that featured Johnson and thanked him by name for his and his country’s continued close alliance and strategic partnerships with the United States.

But it’s when Biden turned to Morrison to thank him as well that things got more than a bit awkward, to say the least. Instead of referring to Morrison by name, which is standard operating procedure during these things, a symbol of respect, Biden appeared to forget the Aussie PM’s name.

“Thank you, Boris. And I want to thank that fella down under. Thank you very much, pal. Appreciate it, Mr. Prime Minister,” Biden said to Morrison, smiling as he turned back to face the camera to finish the remainder of his prepared remarks.


If news outlets here in the U.S. (outside of maybe Fox News and the New York Post) have reported on this embarrassing moment, I haven’t seen it. Frankly, it would surprise me if they did, considering most of the time they’re in Protect the Precious mode. But most major Australian and UK media outlets not only reported on it, but they made the moment the focal point of their write-ups and tweets:


Politico EU’s headline reads “‘That fellow from Down Under’ — Aussies cringe as Biden appears to forget PM’s name.”

In fairness, I should point out that about 10-15 seconds later Biden mentioned both Johnson and Morrison by name and title, but I suspect the teleprompter might have had a little something to do with that.


While Biden forgetting the name of a country’s leader as the world was watching was no laughing matter, what was rather humorous were some of the reactions I saw from random Aussies on Twitter, many of who joked that Biden at the very least should have used “mate” instead of “pal” to address Morrison while others quipped about how they wished they could forget their Prime Minister so easily, considering the draconian state of things in the land Down Under as we speak.

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