Confused in Japan: Befuddled Biden gets photo-op assist from handler Jill, calls PM ‘president’

President Joe Biden traveled to Japan on Thursday to meet with fellow G7 leaders in Hiroshima for a Friday summit. As is often the case with the 80-year-old president when he travels abroad, Biden seemed befuddled and confused. Certainly not a coveted look for the commander-in-chief of the world’s greatest power.

The president and first lady Jill Biden were being escorted by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and first lady Yuko Kishida as they positioned themselves for a photo-op. The prime minister had to step in to direct them on where to stand even though the positions were marked on the ground — Biden stood there motionless for a moment facing the wrong direction as if he was confused about what to do.

“We’ll figure it out,” said Mrs. Biden, who often does double duty as her husband’s handler.

Biden has a history of not knowing where he is supposed to be, often appearing lost after speeches because he doesn’t know what direction to go in to exit the stage. There’s always a handler nearby to give him direction — even if disguised as an Easter Bunny.

Adding to the bad optics on Thursday, Biden appeared to refer to Prime Minister Kishida as “president” at one point. The Japanese form of government does not have a president.

The G7 summit comes in the shadow of ongoing debt ceiling negotiations and a looming default if Congress cannot strike a deal.

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., blasted the president for “jetting off to Japan.”

“Joe Biden is jetting off to Japan with no deal reached on the debt ceiling. He knew the deadline was coming. Republicans have been asking to negotiate for months. Any failure to reach a deal falls solely on @JoeBiden’s failed leadership,” Scott tweeted.

Here’s a quick sampling of other observations from Biden’s visit to Japan, as seen on Twitter:


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