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Poor Boys is a misnomer given to far-right organization Proud Boys by Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden during the second debate in the 2020 United States Presidential Election. While the misnaming appeared to be a slip of the tongue, the name "Poor Boys" was widely celebrated and joked about on social media for undermining the group.
On October 22nd, 2020, during the second United States presidential debate of the 2020 election, Joe Biden was making a point about how Donald Trump had made several racist remarks in the past, remarking, "He banned Muslims because they are Muslims. … He has made everything worse across the board. He said about the poor boys, the last time we were on stage here, he said 'I tell them to stand down and stand ready.'" Biden was referring to when Donald Trump said of the Proud Boys, a far-right organization who has been accused of spreading violence and being a hate group, to "stand back and stand by."
After the moment, Twitter users began talking about the term "Poor Boys," with many celebrating how Biden appeared to undermine the group with the gaffe. Pundit Chris Hayes tweeted "The poor boys thing ruled," gaining over 1,200 retweets and 24,000 likes (shown below, left). User @Kibblesmith pointed out the gaffe marked a stark difference between Biden and Trump, writing "I can’t believe Joe Biden accidentally called The Proud Boys “The Poor Boys” it’s almost as if he doesn’t actively court their approval and sanction their violence," gaining over 80 retweets and 1,400 likes (shown below, right).
Others made jokes about the gaffe. User @jcdulos posted an image of large men with guns, joking "#PoorBoys standing by," gaining over 110 retweets and 1,000 likes (shown below, left). User @brian4dotcom posted a mockup logo for the "Poor Boys," gaining over 70 retweets and 470 likes (shown below, right). The gaffe and the reaction was covered by multiple news outlets, including The Hill, USA Today, and International Business Times.