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CNN's Kaitlan Collins Presses Pete Buttigieg on Joe Biden's Multiple Ukraine/Iraq 'Slip-Ups'

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Jun. 29 2023, Published 5:00 p.m. ET

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CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins pressed Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on two "slip-ups" from President Joe Biden this week, has learned. Twice this week, Biden accidentally said "Iraq" when he meant to say "Ukraine."

The blunders followed ongoing criticism of Biden's age, particularly after the 80-year-old president announced he would seek re-election.

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Buttigieg joined Collins for Wednesday's edition of CNN Primetime, where he discussed chaotic scenes at airports across the country that were impacted by overwhelming flight delays and cancellations. As Biden's transportation secretary wrapped up his time with Collins, she pivoted their discussion to the president's Ukraine/Iraq mess-ups.

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"Twice this week, President Biden has referred to the war in Ukraine as the war in Iraq," Collins told Buttigieg. "I don’t have to tell you, he has been facing doubts from voters about his age. He is the oldest president, of course, in the nation’s history that we’ve ever had."

Collins noted the relevancy of her question, given one of the "slip-ups" had occurred earlier that same day. "What do you say to people who are concerned about his age and slip-ups like the one he had today?" Collins asked.

Buttigieg stood by Biden and answered with confidence in his ability to govern.

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"All I say is I wish you could be in a room with him the way I often am, seeing how he is simultaneously focused on a big picture vision, and very focused on details," Buttigieg told Collins. Buttigieg used recent infrastructure meetings to back his claim that Biden remained focused and cognitively aware.

"I’ll tell you, we’ve had, for example, meetings on some of the work that we’ve been doing with rail infrastructure, where he winds up drilling in on questions so detailed," the transportation secretary continued.

"We have to go back and set up another meeting or pull in experts from Amtrak to help satisfy the president’s desire for detailed information and his focus on how that connects up into the bigger picture."

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Buttigieg further defended the president as he branded his administration "extraordinarily effective." The former South Bend mayor also used his experience as a presidential candidate to support Biden amid backlash.

"And, you know, one of — frankly, one of the cases that I made, back when I was running for president in an unusually young age, is that the only thing that really matters is your ability to do the job," Buttigieg added.



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