US PRESIDENTIAL hopeful Joe Biden was left red-faced after claiming at a campaign rally that he’d recently received a phone call complaining about Donald Trump — from Margaret Thatcher.
The 76-year-old swiftly corrected himself after mixing up the former prime minister, who died in 2013, with current incumbent Theresa May.
The senator, who is hoping to win the Democratic Party’s nomination to take on Mr Trump in the 2020 election, made the gaffe as he boasted about his foreign policy experience.
But in a further faux pas he also referred to Mrs May as one of 14 ‘heads of state’ who had contacted him about Mr Trump — despite that title belonging to the Queen.
Mr Biden told a crowd of donors in South Carolina: ‘One I can say [the name of] is Margaret Thatcher — um, excuse me, Margaret Thatcher, Freudian slip. But I knew her too…the prime minister of Great Britain, Theresa May.’
He said Mrs May had asked him if there was ‘still a special relationship between [the] United States and England?’, adding: ‘I said, jokingly, “It’s an Irishman telling you, yeah”.’ During the speech Mr Biden, whose nearest rival for the Democratic nomination is Bernie Sanders, attacked Mr Trump as a ‘clown’ and ‘no good SOB’.
Downing Street refused to comment on whether Mrs May had called Mr Biden. But sources said there was no record of any call between them. His claim, whether true or not, could prove awkward for the PM, who is due to welcome Mr Trump to London next month during a state visit.
It is not the first time Mr Biden, who served as Barack Obama’s vice president, has been left embarrassed over British politics. His first unsuccessful run for president in 1988 came to an end when he was caught plagiarising a speech from Labour leader Neil Kinnock.