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Joe Biden Encourages Young Girl with a Stutter: 'I Promise You It Will Go Away If You Just Keep at It'

·2 min read
Joe Biden
Joe Biden


Joe Biden offered some encouraging words to a young girl who faces a similar struggle as the president.

While spending time with family in Nantucket during the Thanksgiving holiday, Biden, 79, told a girl named Avery not to be discouraged by her stutter.

"I promise you it will go away if you just keep at it," the president, who has been open about his own stutter, said.

"Thank you, Mr. President," she replied before offering him a hug.

The little girl is the niece of a Biden nominee, Rufus Gifford, who posted video of the encounter on Twitter.

"My amazing niece and goddaughter Avery has struggled with a stutter much of her life," said Gifford, who is a former ambassador to Denmark and awaiting confirmation to be Chief of Protocol at the State Department. "She was just told by a guy who knows a little something about it that she can be anything she wants to in this world. A day she will never ever forget. Thank you sir."

During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden opened up about how he manages the lifelong difficulty he has had with his speech.

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"Stuttering, when you think about, is the only handicap that people still laugh about, that still humiliate people about," Biden said during a CNN townhall. "If I said to you when I was a kid I had a cleft pallet or a withered arm, no one would smile."

The president also said that he practiced as a kid for hours in front of the mirror and has mostly overcome the speech impediment. But, he said, he still stutters "occasionally, when I find myself really tired."

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Biden also revealed that he keeps in touch with others who stutter, offering them a way to contact him so they can talk and share advice.

"I deal with about 15 stutterers I keep in contact with all the time," Biden said. "The point I make to these young people that I still work with, is that in fact it's critically important for them not to judge themselves by their speech and not let that define them."

At the end of his encounter with Avery, Biden offered her an invitation. "Maybe you can come down to the White House," he said.

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