Joe Biden put his foot in it again after a tone deaf joke about the Irish drinking and going to jail. The President, 80, has often referenced family ties to the Emerald Isle, and is roughly five-eighths Irish, but at an event to mark St Patrick’s Day cracked out stereotypes to scattered laughs.
“I’ve been to Ireland many times, but not to actually look up, to find my actual family members,” Biden said at the Friends of Ireland Luncheon.
“And there are so many — and they actually weren’t in jail.”
He also said: “There’s still a place called Finnegan’s pub … that’s related to my family.
“I’m the only Irishman you ever met, though, that’s never had a drink, so I’m OK. I’m really not Irish.”
In December, Biden said during a veterans town hall, “I may be Irish, but I’m not stupid”, insisting he’s got “a little Italian” in him because his wife’s family is Italian.
And last St. Patrick’s Day, he began his remarks with the same joke, saying: “Well, I just want you to know, I may be Irish, but I’m not stupid.”
In the past, Biden has used his Irish ancestry to wade into tensions around the controversial post-Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol.
READ MORE: Biden and Varadkar meet at White House on St Patrick’s Day
Biden was also skewered this week as the “world’s worst Catholic” for cheapening Irish and Catholic identity by Ruth Dudley Edwards for The Telegraph.
“President Joe Biden’s self-delusion seems to be boundless. When he looks in the mirror, he apparently sees an upright Irish Catholic true to the historic values of his deeply rooted religious identity,” she said.
“He is, in fact, an appalling Catholic who publicly flouts the church’s most cherished teachings and is about as authentically Irish as a leprechaun hat in a St Patrick’s Day parade.”
Meanwhile, the President hailed a new Brexit deal for Northern Ireland, saying the Windsor Framework agreement represents a “vital, vital step”.
Speaking at the White House after meeting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, he said it ensured “all the people of Northern Ireland have the opportunity to realise their full potential”.
Varadkar also pledged to “roll out the red carpet” for Biden for his expected visit to Ireland next month to mark the 25th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement.
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