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Biden's thin walls joke and confused exit sparks controversy at speech event

President Biden made a peculiar joke about the thinness of the walls in his parent's house, and later had trouble finding his way off the stage, relying on an official to guide him as a recording of 'Stars and Stripes Forever' played in the background

La aprobación de Biden ha caído entre los jóvenes respecto al 39 % del pasado otoño
La aprobación de Biden ha caído entre los jóvenes respecto al 39 % del pasado otoño | EFE/JIM LO SCALZO

May 11, 2023 9:06am

Updated: May 11, 2023 9:06am

President Biden's recent speech in Westchester County, New York took an unexpected turn when he told an antiquated joke about the thin walls of his childhood home, which amused the crowd.

While blasting the Republican negotiating position and warning of the risk of running the U.S. into default, Biden recalled his past. "We lived in a three-bedroom split-level home in a housing development that was a nice area that was when they were developing suburbia," he said. "With four kids and a grandpop living with us. I look back on it and wonder how thin those walls were for my mom and dad but at any rate ..."

This was not the first time Biden has shared memories of his childhood home. While speaking on the campaign trail in Iowa back in 2019 and discussing the economic progress of the American middle class, the President made a similar joke about his parents' alleged ordeal:

"It was after three years that my dad was finally able to buy a three-bedroom house with four kids and a grandpop living with us. It was okay, but those walls were awfully thin," Biden said, eliciting laughter from the audience.

In March, while speaking on the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, he also recounted growing up in the house, according to the Daily Mail. 

"My dad's headboard was there, and I could hear he was just restless. I asked my mom the next morning when he went to work, 'What's the matter?' She said, 'Well, his company just told him they're not going to pay for health insurance anymore.' How many people lie in bed awake wondering?"

Biden made a similar point that same month while speaking about the budget, which was also the topic of his Wednesday speech.

As Biden finished his speech on Wednesday, he stepped away from the podium but stopped shortly after to wait for an official to guide him. He gestured towards a door for confirmation, and as he followed the official, 'Stars and Stripes Forever' played in the background.

This was not the first time that the President had looked for direction when exiting a stage.

The Republican National Committee's research arm took to Twitter to criticize him, tweeting, 'Biden once again gets lost as he attempts to exit the stage.'