Grading the first Biden Press Conference
Category: News & PoliticsBy: vic-eldred • 3 weeks ago • 107 comments
Joe Biden held his first press conference this past week in a sparsely populated room (30 reporters) to which he arrived ten minutes late. There was no hiding that he had a list of 10 reporters (with photos attached) of whom he would grant a question. Being the Biden we have come to know we got to hear him say: “Okay, where am I here?”
Let us start by grading six of the 10 reporters who were on his list and got to ask questions.
1) Zeke, the Associated Press.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. You mentioned your progress on COVID-19. I’d like to ask you about some of the other issues facing your presidency. One of the defining challenges you face in the coming months is how to deliver on your promise to Americans on issues like immigration reform, gun control, voting rights, climate change. All of those right now are facing stiff, united opposition from Republicans on Capitol Hill. How far are you willing to go to achieve those promises that you made to the American people?
Translation: Will you finally advocate for the end of the filibuster as Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and we in press want so badly, so we can ram through H. R.1 ? Biden gave a long vague answer laying the blame on Republicans if they don't go along, thus being "divisive." Zeke then asked a follow up question which doubled down on the original.
Zeke gets an F for being an advocate rather than a journalist.
2) Yamiche, (God knows where)
Q Thanks so much, Mr. President. You’ve said over and over again that immigrants shouldn’t come to this country right now; this isn’t the time to come. That message is not being received. Instead, the perception of you that got you elected — as a moral, decent man — is the reason why a lot of immigrants are coming to this country and entrusting you with unaccompanied minors.
How do you resolve that tension? And how are you choosing which families can stay and which can go, given the fact that even though, with Title 42, there are some families that are staying? And is there a timeline for when we won’t be seeing these overcrowded facilities with — run by CPB [sic], when it comes to unaccompanied minors?
This question first flattered Biden as being a "moral man" until it dawned on even him that he needed to run in the opposite direction from Alcindor’s premise that he was a magnet for illegal immigrants.
Q My follow-up question is: One, if you could talk a little bit about which families — why they’re being allowed to stay. The families that are being allowed to stay, why they’re being allowed to stay.
And in addition to that, when it comes to the filibuster, which is what Zeke was asking about, there’s — immigration is a big issue, of course, when it — related to the filibuster, but there’s also Republicans who are passing bill after bill, trying to restrict voting rights. Chuck Schumer is calling it an “existential threat” to democracy. Why not back a filibuster rule that at least gets around issues including voting rights or immigration?
Jim Clyburn, someone who — of course, who you know very well, has backed the idea of a filibuster rule when it comes to civil rights and voting rights.
Translation: Yamiche also wants Biden to end the filibuster.
This is where Biden gave his classic befuddled answer:
"And so, I’m going to say something outrageous: I have never been particularly poor at calculating how to get things done in the United States Senate. So the best way to get something done, if you — if you hold near and dear to you that you like to be able to — anyway —
I — we’re going to get a lot done. And if we have to — if there’s complete lockdown and chaos as a consequence of the filibuster, then we’ll have to go beyond what I’m talking about."
Yamiche Alcindor gets a double F for being an obvious radical advocate
3) Okay. Hang on. Sorry. Oh, Seung Min — Ms. Kim.
Q Thank you, Mr. President, to follow up on the filibuster: So do you believe it should take 60 votes to end a filibuster on legislation or 51?
THE PRESIDENT: (Laughs.) If we could end it with 51, we would have no problem. You’re going to have to — the existing rule — it’s going to be hard to get a parliamentary ruling that allows 50 votes to end the filibuster, the existence of a filibuster.
Ms Kim gets an F for being an advocate
4) Let me get here. Okay, Cecilia Vega.
Q I’d like to circle back to immigration, please. You just listed the reasons that people are coming, talking about in-country problems, saying that it happens every year; you blamed the last administration. Sir, I just got back last night from a reporting trip to the border where I met nine-year-old, Yossell, who walked here from Honduras by himself, along with another little boy. He had that phone number on him —
THE PRESIDENT: Astounding.
Q — and we were able to call his family. His mother says that she sent her son to this country because she believes that you are not deporting unaccompanied minors like her son. That’s why she sent him alone from Honduras.
Ms Vega gets a B for a responsible question
Q Thank you, Mr. President. I wanted to ask you about Afghanistan. You face a May 1st deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from that country. As a candidate, in foreign affairs, you wrote that it is past time to end these forever wars. Can you commit to the American people that by May 2nd the U.S. will no longer have forces in Afghanistan?
At that point Joe had to pull out and read from his notebook, as he did for all foreign policy questions. The man who is supposed to be setting foreign policy for the US had to read the talking points of someone else.
Ken gets a B for a responsible question.
6) Okay. Kristen.
Q Thank you very much, Mr. President. Given the conditions that were just laid out at the migrant facilities at the U.S. border, will you commit to allowing journalists to have access to the facilities that are overcrowded moving forward?
THE PRESIDENT: I will commit when my plan, very shortly, is underway to let you have access to not just them, but to other facilities as well.
Q How soon will journalists be able to have access to the facilities? We’ve obviously been allowed to be inside one, but we haven’t seen the facilities in which children are packed together to really give the American people a chance to see that. Will you commit to transparency on this issue, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT: I will commit to transparency, and — as soon as I am in a position to be able to implement what we are doing right now.
And one of the reasons I haven’t gone down — I have all my — my chief folks have gone down — is I don’t want to become the issue. I don’t want to be, you know, bringing all of the Secret Service and everybody with me to get in the way. So this is being set up, and you’ll have full access to everything once we get this thing moving.
Q Okay. And just to be clear: How soon will that be, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT: I don’t know, to be clear.
Q Okay. And do you bear responsibility for everything that’s happening at the border now? I hear you talking a lot about the past administration. You decided to roll back some of those policies, did you move too quickly to roll back (inaudible) policies?
THE PRESIDENT: To roll back what? I’m sorry.
Q Did you move too quickly to roll back some of the executive orders of your predecessor?
THE PRESIDENT: First of all, all the policies that were underway were not helping at all — did not slow up the amount of immigration — and there’s many people coming.
And rolling back the policies of separating children from — from their mothers, I make no apology for that. Rolling back the policies of “Remain in Mexico,” sitting on the edge of the Rio Grande in a muddy circumstance with not enough to eat and — I make no apologies for that.
I make no apologies for ending programs that did not exist before Trump became President that have an incredibly negative impact on the law, international law, as well as on human dignity. And so, I make no apologies for that.
Q If I could just ask you about foreign policy, Mr. President. Overnight, we learned that North Korea tested two ballistic missiles. What, if any, actions will you take? And what is your red line on North Korea?
THE PRESIDENT: Let me say that, number one, U.N. Resolution 1718 was violated by those particular missiles that were tested — number one. We’re consulting with our allies and partners. And there will be responses — if they choose to escalate, we will respond accordingly.
But I’m also prepared for some form of diplomacy, but it has to be conditioned upon the end result of denuclearization. So that’s what we’re doing right now: consulting with our allies.
Q Just a very quick follow-up —
THE PRESIDENT: You’ve only got another hour now, okay?
Q Diplomacy: Can you define what you mean? And former President Obama warned the incoming President Trump that North Korea was the top foreign policy issue that he was watching. Is that how you assess the crisis in North Korea?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
Kristen Welker gets an A for asking tough questions.
Of course, this reporter was in the room, but was left off the list:
Peter Doocy (Fox News) gets an A for striking so much fear in the hearts & minds of Joe Biden's handlers that he was excluded from the list of those to be called.
Joe Biden gets an F for failing to clear a low bar and being open to manipulation by left wing advocates pretending to be journalists.
For those here interested enough to read the questions and responses, here is the full transcript:
World leaders are watching. One can only imagine what they think.