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President Biden appeared at the South Carolina State University commencement ceremony Friday to speak to students of the historically Black university, where he committed several verbal gaffes.
At different points, the president accidentally referred to Vice President Harris as “President Harris” and reflected on the “George Family Justice Act, Policing Act.”
“On police reform, I share the frustration,” Biden said at one point. “And I know the family well – the George Family Justice Act, Policing Act – I know the family well,” Biden said, mangling the name of Democrats’ George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
At another point, the president spoke glowingly of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, touting, “Of course, President Harris is a proud Howard [University] alum.”
He previously referred to her as President Harris in March.
The president used part of his speech to push for a wide-ranging election and campaign finance reform bill that passed the Democratic-controlled House along party lines earlier this year. But Republicans vehemently oppose the bill, which is stalled in a Senate split 50-50 between the two major parties. The GOP criticizes the measure as a federal power grab and takeover of the states’ longstanding ability to control their elections.
Biden told the audience that despite his early struggles in the presidential primaries, he was always confident he would succeed in South Carolina because of its large African American voter base.
“I, uh, I got what we call in my old neighborhood in Claymont, Delaware – I got ‘shellacked.’ I kept saying, I’m waiting to go to South Carolina,” Biden told the audience of graduating students on Friday.
He continued, “Because I come from a state that has the eighth-largest African American population and that’s the source of all my support in Delaware. For real.”
Biden also spotlighted his push “to protect the sacred right to vote” and honored his longtime friend and ally House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn during his visit to South Carolina.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.