Politics 'Biden-isms': A stumble-prone president battles perceptions about his age
Fact check: Breaking down Joe Biden's first month of claims
President Joe Biden was more consistently factual in his first month in office than his predecessor ever was in office. But Biden was not perfect.President Joe Biden was more consistently factual in his first month in office than his predecessor ever was in office. But Biden was not perfect himself.
President Biden hasn't had a lot of face time with reporters, but that doesn't mean he hasn't made any verbal missteps since his inauguration.
A self-aware mistake-prone politician who has talked himself into hot water more than once, Biden largely has been shielded from the press as coronavirus restrictions limit direct access to the new president. He opened up a bit to reporters following a COVID-19 event on Tuesday, saying he hopes the country is back to its pre-pandemic normal "this time next year." But he returned to his tight-lipped ways when asked what he learned in a border security briefing earlier in the day: "A lot."
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The Pew survey found deep partisan divisions, with Republicans lacking confidence in the president on every major foreign policy issue.Sixty percent of Americans surveyed for research published on Wednesday say they have confidence in the president's foreign policy, but are less convinced that he can perform well on issues relating to China and international trade.
Biden's habit of making verbal flubs has long been part of his political identity, and they can still prove problematic, according to Robert Thompson, director of Syracuse University's Bleier Center for Television & Popular Culture.
"Every time Biden talks, there's always the calculated risk that he's going to give us a 'Biden-ism,'" Thompson said. "Because he is older than an awful lot of presidents, I think many people are trying to read into it, you know, is he losing his facility?"
But Thompson predicted Biden will weather the criticism as long as his miscues are not "creepy," referring to allegations of Biden making women feel uncomfortable by invading their personal space, or implied "a disconnection with reality" or "a competence issue."
Biden beats Trump on transparency. But he's playing catch up to Obama.
Government watchdogs are urging Biden to do more to keep the American public informed, including releasing virtual visitor logs.But five weeks into office, Biden has fallen short of his former boss, Barack Obama, in several areas, and is under pressure to do more to restore confidence in the federal government following Trump’s chaotic term in the White House.
"The important thing is, we make the distinction between saying something goofy or silly and saying something dangerous or offensive," he said.
A month into his first term, Biden had so far been spared the scrutiny received by the likes of former President George W. Bush, who often struggled with public speaking, as the country deals with a public health and economic crisis.
Thompson also pointed to other matters in the news, such as the sexual misconduct accusations against Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Biden, too, succeeded former President Donald Trump, who refused to follow presidential etiquette or traditional standards of behavior, he said.
For University of Michigan debate director Aaron Kall, a rare similarity between Biden and Trump is both were "immune" to blunders that would have ended other candidates' presidential campaigns.
"He now has the White House communications and press shops to help insulate him and push back against any such gaffes," he said.
Jill Biden takes school reopening tour flanked by teachers' union bosses
First lady Jill Biden and freshly sworn-in Education Secretary Miguel Cardona are touring reopened schools in their home states flanked by teachers' union bosses.The duo is visiting Benjamin Franklin School in Meriden, Connecticut, and Fort LeBoeuf Middle School in Waterford, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday as the White House works to reopen as many K-8 schools as it can within President Biden's first 100 days in office.
But Kall warned delaying Biden's first solo press conference and his address to a joint session of Congress would only increase expectations heading into those events.
Here's a rundown of some of Biden's most notable awkward moments since winning the 2020 election:
'Are you a freshman'?
During a virtual tour of a coronavirus vaccination site near Phoenix, Arizona, this month, Biden asked head nurse Brittney HayesCritics jumped on him for what they considered to be a sexist remark. Hayes had told Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris she was affiliated with Arizona State University but had explained how she was in charge of the State Farm Stadium-based vaccination facility.
"Are you a freshman at the university?" Biden asked, laughing.
"No. No. No," Hayes said.
"You look like a freshman," Biden responded.
"Why, thank you," Hayes replied.
Hayes went on to tell Biden and Harris she was a registered nurse with nine years of experience.
"Doctors let you live; nurses make you want to live," Biden said. "If there's any angels in heaven, they're all nurses, male and female."
Biden follows his party; Trump rules Republicans with iron fist
President Biden may be the Democratic standard-bearer, but his party is taking fewer cues from him than Republicans are from his predecessor, former President Donald Trump. © Provided by Washington Examiner The emerging dynamic could hinder Biden's legislative agenda as his political honeymoon winds down, and it already has revealed cracks in his awkward relationship with more liberal Democrats.
'Where in the hell are we?'
During a televised town hall this month, Biden was pressed for details on his move into the White House after the executive mansion was his workplace for eight years during former President Barack Obama's administration, and he visited the grounds as Delaware's 36-year senator.
In response, he relayed his mornings waking up beside first lady Jill Biden in the residence.
"I get up in the morning, look at Jill, and say, 'Where the hell are we?'" he quipped on CNN.
'You over-stand me'
During his virtual address at the National Governors Association’s winter meeting last week, Biden urged his Democratic and Republican colleagues to collaborate with him to manage the pandemic, relying on a "dad joke" to appeal to the audience.
"You not only understand me, but you over-stand me," he said, quoting "a friend."
"We’re the United States of America, and this cruel winter is not over," he said. "And if we come together, we can usher a more hopeful spring."
'Mi casa es su casa'
During the election-to-inauguration transition, his and Harris's first in-person meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Biden miffed the well-known Spanish phrase "mi casa es su casa," which translates to mean "my house is your house” or "make yourself at home."
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“In my Oval Office, me casa, you casa," Biden said in Delaware to chuckles. "I hope we’re going to spend a lot of time together.”
'Make such a fool of myself'
During his first virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week, Biden, Harris, and officials from both governments, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, discussed the pandemic, the related economic downturn, the environment, and immigration. But they also talked about Biden's struggles with languages other than English.
"I told you, Mr. Prime Minister, I took five years of French in school, and college as well. Every time I tried to speak it, I'd make such a fool of myself. I stopped trying. At least when I try Spanish and I make a fool of myself, they laugh with me," he said.
Biden also confused Canada and China during his opening comments, but he quickly corrected himself.
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Covid relief wasn't the only pressing issue facing Congress. Here are 6 others .
Democrats' slim majorities in both the House and Senate are testing President Joe Biden's ability to get his priorities through Congress, as lawmakers turn their attention to legislative work beyond relief from the Covid-19 pandemic. © Joshua Roberts/Getty Images Clouds pass overt the Capitol Dome as the Senate resumes debate on overriding the veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on December 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is filibustering the NDAA, calling for a Senate vote on giving Americans $2,000 in direct payments for COVID-19 relief.