White House Staffers Mute TVs During Biden Remarks Due to Fear of His Gaffes, Report Claims
US President Joe Biden's frequent awkwardness in public speeches often becomes a butt of jokes among netizens, who blast the president for his gaffes, inconsistencies, and bizarre remarks.
Some White House staffers appear to mute or turn off their TVs when Joe Biden is delivering remarks, according to a Tuesday report from Politico.
While Biden himself reportedly believes to be his own "best messenger", his staffers refrain from listening to him speaking over their "anxiety" that he is going to take questions and therefore possibly undermine the White House's "carefully orchestrated messaging".
“I know people who habitually don’t watch it live for that reason”, one unnamed official told Politico.
This is not the first time when concerns emerge regarding Biden taking questions from the press. According to Press Secretary Jen Psaki, the White House communications team "a lot of times" instructs the president not to take questions, "but he’s going to do what he wants to do because he’s the president of the United States".
Many observers noted how Biden, during his post-Hurricane Ida speech at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), happened to say that he "was not supposed to take questions", but said "go ahead" to reporters anyway. However, he then swiftly cut the conversation short, apparently angered by how the questions were about Afghanistan rather than the hurricane.
© REUTERS / LEAH MILLISUS President Joe Biden delivers remarks as he meets with members of his national security team and private sector leaders to discuss how to "improve the nation's cybersecurity," in the East Room at the White House in Washington, US, August 25, 2021
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks as he meets with members of his national security team and private sector leaders to discuss how to "improve the nation's cybersecurity," in the East Room at the White House in Washington, US, August 25, 2021
The president is famously prone to gaffes in his speeches, with his miscues immediately going viral and causing headaches for the communications team, especially when it comes to messaging about the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Particularly, during one of his Afghanistan speeches, Biden said that it was "highly unlikely" that the Taliban would take over the entire country - a remark that was followed by the militants swiftly taking over the Central Asian nation. He also made a mistake when delivering scripted remarks, saying the administration had evacuated 90 percent of Americans from Afghanistan, with the White House then having to clarify that it was actually 98 percent.
Biden's misfortunes in public addresses do not do any good for his approval ratings, which, according to the recent polls, show over 50 percent of Americans disapproving of his job as president.