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Biden Tells Engineer That Indian-Americans ‘Are Taking Over the Country’

President Joe Biden said Thursday that immigrants of Indian descent are “taking over the country.”

The comment came as Biden was on a call with NASA officials who were being congratulated by Biden for landing the rover Perseverance on Mars.

The Mars mission, which was launched in July during the Trump administration, has resulted in captivating images of the planet and is expected to yield a greater understanding of its history.

On Thursday, Biden praised NASA officials for their work and had a special comment for Swati Mohan, NASA’s guidance and controls operations lead for the project.

“Indian — of descent — Americans are taking over the country: you; my vice president; my speechwriter, Vinay [Reddy]. I tell you what. But thank you. You guys are incredible,” the president said.

The mother of Vice President Kamala Harris was born in India.

Later on, Biden praised diversity.

“One of the reasons why we’re such an incredible country is we’re such a diverse country.  We bring the best out of every single solitary culture in the world here in the United States of America, and we give people an opportunity to let their — let their dreams run forward,” he said, according to a White House transcript of the call.

Some wondered about the president’s comments.

The incident called to mind Biden’s comment in 2006 that “you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. … I’m not joking.”

Biden also used the NASA call to throw a dig at his predecessor.

“I was reaching — I was talking to a head of state who was calling me about thanking me — or not thanking me — congratulating me on becoming president. And then I later heard from another head of state, saying, ‘America has changed so much. They — they used to be so competent to do great things, and here they can’t even deal with a coronavirus. Look how badly organized they are.’ That was said by a head of state,” the president said.

“And America’s image in the world — and it matters. It matters because democracies have to demonstrate they can run as efficiently and more efficiently than autocracies. There’s a big battle going on. Your kids are going to be studying about when democracy once again re-established it could do anything, as opposed to autocracies that can just command things,” he said.

During the call, Biden responded to a comment from Michael Watkins, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who had invited him to visit.

“And by the way, I’m like a poor relative, Mike. When I’m invited, I show up. So be careful. You know, the poor relatives, they show up even,” Biden said, with his next words fading as Watkins replied.

“They stay longer than they’re supposed to. I’m one of those kind of guys,” Biden said.

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