Joe Biden’s struggles with teleprompters and other newfangled modes of text delivery are well-documented. Whether these battles are the result of a cognitive deficiency or something else, they have recurred with alarming frequency during the first several months of his presidency.
He suffered another minor lapse two days ago as he delivered his remarks on gun control. At around the five-minute mark of his speech, he appears to mention “merfin and ruthers.” Watch:
Sometimes, checking the transcript helps, but here the libretto provides his words as they were intended, not as they were spoken:
And I look out there and I see so many members of Congress who have led in this fight. So many of you who have never given up. So many of you who are in — absolutely determined, as Murph and others are, to get this done.
Presumably, “Murph” is Sen. Chris Murphy, who is fiercely pro-gun control. On June 15, 2016, in the wake of a mass shooting in Orlando, Murphy launched a filibuster, promising to hold the floor “for as long as I can” or until Congress acts on gun control legislation.
As for the identity of Ruthers, your guess is as good as mine.