US President Joe Biden mistakenly welcomed British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to the White House as “Mr President”. Biden quickly corrected the mistake and joked that he had “promoted” the British head of government.
The president will meet with Sunak for a bilateral meeting when the lapsus followed. “So Mr President – Mr Prime Minister, I just promoted you. Mr Prime Minister, it’s great to have you here again.”
Sunak, who seemed to laugh at the mistake, had not previously been in the White House as prime minister. He has only been leading the British government since October.
“Over the past few months we have met in San Diego, and afterwards in Belfast and Hiroshima,” said Biden. “Now we are here and we are going to solve all the world’s problems in 20 minutes.”
This is not the first time Biden has stumbled over his words. In April, during a visit to Ireland, he confused the name of New Zealand’s national rugby team, the “All Blacks”, with the “Black and Tans”, the controversial violent police force that London deployed in Ireland during the period of Irish independence in the early 1920s.