President Joe Biden quoted the Supreme Court majority opinion on ending the constitutional right to abortion in remarks he made on July 8. Social media posts falsely claim he mistakenly read teleprompter cues. A White House press secretary told us Biden intentionally said “end of quote” and then said “repeat the line” for emphasis, and the full, live remarks support that explanation.
President Joe Biden signed an executive order on July 8 promoting access to reproductive health care services in response to the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade.
Before signing the order, Biden delivered remarks in which he directly quoted the court’s majority opinion, and the White House released a copy of his remarks. Here is the White House transcript:
Biden, July 8: One of the most extraordinary parts of the decision, in my view, is the majority writes, and I quote, “Women…” — it’s a quote now, from the majority — “Women are not without electoral or political power. It is noteworthy that the percentage of women who registered to vote and cast a ballot is consistently higher than the percentage of the men who do so.” End of quote.
Let me repeat the line: “Women are not without electoral…” and/or political — “or” — let me be precise; not “and/or” — “…or political power.”
That’s another way of saying that you, the women of America, can determine the outcome of this issue.
In the video of the remarks, it’s not clear that Biden says “let me” before saying “repeat the line.”
But posts on social media shared a shortened clip of that part of Biden’s remarks to falsely claim that he mistakenly read the cues off the teleprompter when he said “end of quote” and “repeat the line,” insinuating that he is becoming senile.
The videos in the social media posts don’t include Biden citing the full quote of the court’s opinion, so it isn’t clear that he was ending a direct quote and then went on to repeat it.
One post on Facebook shared the video with the title “Biden HUMILIATES Himself During Speech, Can’t Read A Teleprompter.”
“Ooops…President literally reads teleprompter instructions, YOU: <Repeat the line>,” read the caption of another Facebook post.
“Joe Biden accidentally reads the part on the teleprompter that says ‘end of quote, repeat the line’ when they wanted him to say the line again,” read a false claim on Twitter.
“Whoever controls the teleprompter is the real President,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a reply to the tweet.
But Emilie Simons, assistant press secretary at the White House, told us in an email that Biden’s wording was intentional, pointing out that Biden used phrases similar to “let me repeat the line” several times in the same speech.
“President Biden said ‘end of quote’ when he finished quoting the majority opinion in Dobbs,” said Simons. “His remarks included, ‘let me repeat the line,’ because he wanted to emphasize that American women should let their voices be heard in order to reclaim our rights.”
“And the President used similar phrases about repetition for emphasis 6 other times in the same speech, including ‘let me be clear,’ and ‘let me say that again.’ He does that often,” Simons added.
Biden also used the phrase “end of quote” two other times in the speech to indicate he had finished citing two quotes from the dissenting opinion. This is just another example of Biden being falsely accused of having issues while using a teleprompter.
Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.
Biden, Joe. “Remarks by President Biden on Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Care Services.” White House. 8 Jul 2022.
“Elon Musk” webpage. Tesla. Accessed 12 Jun 2022.
Elon Musk (@elonmusk). “Whoever controls the teleprompter is the real President!” Twitter. 8 Jul 2022.
Greg Price (@greg_price11). “Joe Biden accidentally reads the part on the teleprompter that says ‘end of quote, repeat the line’ when they wanted him to say the line again.” Twitter. 8 Jul 2022.
Sadeghi, McKenzie. “Fact check: Biden was quoting Walmart US CEO when he said ‘end of quote’ during speech.” USA Today. 6 Dec 2021.
Simons, Emilie. Assistant press secretary at the White House. Email to FactCheck.org. 12 Jul 2022.
Spencer, Saranac Hale. “Biden Was Looking at a TV Screen, Not a Teleprompter.” FactCheck.org. 24 Sep 2020.