President Biden appeared to forget the name of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison Wednesday night while unveiling a key nuclear submarine pact — calling him “pal” and “that fella Down Under.”
“Thank you, Boris, and I want to thank, er … that fella Down Under,” Biden said after a pause while turning toward the screen with Morrison, who’d already spoken before him.
“Thank you very much, pal. Appreciate it, Mr. Prime Minister,” he said, getting a thumbs up from Morrison who he called one of America’s “closest allies.”.
While Biden did eventually address “Prime Minister Morrison” during his pre-written speech, the latest apparent flub was picked up by Australian media — and quickly lit up Twitter.
“‘The fella down under’ has a name. How embarrassing,” a Brit named Dom M replied to Biden’s tweeted link of the press conference video.
“Just a public speaking tip – if you’re going to mention someone by name WRITE IT DOWN,” someone named Meegan also tweeted Biden.
“HOW DID YOU NOT REMEMBER THE PRIME MINISTERS NAME. ‘That fella down under…thank you pal’ was honestly so embarrassing.”
“I don’t understand how Americans vote for him,” an Australian named Adam tweeted, noting how Biden always seems “very forgetful.”
Some Aussies who are not fans of their prime minister, however, seemed to revel in the apparent slip up, saying it made their day.
“Cut him some slack. Many of us Aussies want to forget our PM’s name,” someone named Paul W tweeted, while a Twitter user named Sandra quipped, “I have to say it’s the nicest thing he’s been called in a long time.”
“That fella from down under got the respect he deserves. In fact he got more than he deserves,” she tweeted.