Biden faux pas mixes up Shapiro and Fetterman at Wilkes-Barre PA rally

US President Joe Biden mixed up the Democratic hopefuls in Pennsylvania’s big-ticket races on Tuesday.

Talking before a crowd in Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday, Biden misspoke in his call for commonwealth residents to vote. The faux pas came near the conclusion of his speech on reducing gun violence in America.

President Joe Biden removes his face mask as he arrives at Wilkes-Barre Scranton International airport, Tuesday, Aug.  30, 2022, in Avoca, Pa.  He misspoke during a rally later that day by confusing Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Lt.  Gov.  John Fetterman in call for Pennsylvanians to vote this fall.

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“Think about doing me a favor,” he told the audience. “Please, please elect the attorney general to the Senate (and) elect that big ole boy to be governor.”

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Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the commonwealth, while 6-foot-8-inch tall Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is the “big ole boy” running for the US Senate.

Pennsylvania Lt.  Gov.  John Fetterman speaks during a news conference in Pittsburgh in 2019. On Tuesday, Aug.  30, 2022, US President Joe Biden confused the two during a speech in Wilkes-Barre.

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Shapiro faces Republican Doug Mastriano on the ballot this fall in a bid to replace term-limited Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. Fetterman is vying for the seat being vacated by retiring US Mon. Pat Toomey (R-PA) in a race against TV celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz of the GOP.

Members of the Republican National Committee pounced on Biden’s mistake almost immediately.

“Joe Biden tells Pennsylvanians to elect Josh Shapiro as senator (he’s running for governor) and to elect John Fetterman as governor (he’s running for Senate),” committee members posted on their Twitter social media account shortly after the gaffe. This post was then retweeted by Mastriano.

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Bruce Siwy is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network’s Pennsylvania state capital bureau. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @BruceSiwy.

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