At the end of CNN’s second Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday night, all the candidates ended their closing statements with their websites.
Except Joe Biden, who got confused. He gave the number to his text line with no context instead.
“Go to Joe 30330, and help me in this fight,” Biden said, faltering very slightly mid-sentence, possibly as he realised his mistake.
Before the candidates had even left the stage, Joe30330.com was purchased. And a moment later, it was redirecting to fellow presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s site, PeteForAmerica.com.
But another couple of minutes later, the redirect changed again … to joshforamerica.com.
The simple site features only an email list signup box, a note claiming “Josh” is the “first Gen Z’er to declare candidacy for this office” and an (at time of writing) unlisted YouTube video with 116 views titled “Josh for America Exploratory Committee Announcement.” In the video, a guy named Josh Fayer jokes he’s running for president on a platform of “no homework in college.” (Fayer, sadly, does not address how he plans to get around the age requirement for eligibility to run for president.) The video is dated April 1.
It also features a donate button, which leads to a page reading the following:
“We’re flattered about your interest in donating to our campaign! Unfortunately we’re still having trouble resolving a process issue where ActBlue thinks our campaign is “not legitimate.” We’re sure this issue will be resolved quickly, but in the meantime, please feel free to donate to our good friend Pete Buttigieg’s campaign.
Pete’s really a guy who knows how to stand up for American values, and, were I not running myself, I’d for sure be voting for him.”
And in a red-highlighted addition:
Hey! If Joe Biden sent you here, we just want to make something clear: we’re not affiliated with any presidential campaign. We’re just having some good fun (maybe a little bit at the expense of Joe) 🙂
Mashable’s reached out to Fayer for comment.
In the meantime, we can all sit here squirming as we imagine being Joe Biden’s campaign team at that exact moment.
UPDATE [9.43 p.m. PT]: Josh Fayer told Mashable that a friend bought the domain “within a minute or two of the Biden gaffe” for $9.06.
“I formed joshforamerica.com as an April Fools Day joke earlier this year,” Fayer said, adding that he’s not in any way connected to the Buttigieg campaign. “I do not have any affiliation with a political campaign, nor am I endorsing a candidate at this time … The references to Pete on the website are a remnant of the original April Fools Day joke.”
The site had had just under 80,000 hits since the end of the debate, Fayer said.
“I’m glad it’s making people laugh tonight!”