Politics Unscripted remarks start to haunt President Biden

02:23  21 july  2021
02:23  21 july  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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NEW: Unscripted remarks start to haunt President Biden as White House cleans up slip-ups http://hill.cm/yxdBwuV pic.twitter.com/8vEgVvxs9w.

President Joe Biden . Vice President Kamala Harris. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden . Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff. The Cabinet. THE PRESIDENT : Well, good morning. Tomorrow marks exactly six months since my administration began. I think it’s a fitting moment to take a look at our economy — where we were six months ago, what we’ve achieved since then, and what I believe we’ve — I believe where we’ re headed.

President Biden has been more freewheeling with his remarks in the last few weeks, leading to slip-ups the White House has had to clean up.

Joe Biden looking at the camera: Unscripted remarks start to haunt President Biden © Getty Images Unscripted remarks start to haunt President Biden

The most recent example came Friday, when Biden accused Facebook of "killing people" because of the misinformation spread on the social media network about coronavirus vaccines.

It was a striking statement that triggered a furious response from Facebook. And on Monday, it became clear Biden had gone further and been more biting than he intended.

Less than three days after his initial remarks, the president reversed course, saying Facebook "isn't killing people."

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President Biden delivered remarks in the Rose Garden about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) new coronavirus guidelines. He said that it was a great milestone that vaccinated persons do not have to wear a mask indoors or outdoors. He added that there would not be mask-enforcement of those To date, we have given out 250 million shots in 114 days, and we' re seeing the results. Cases are down in 49 of the 50 states. The New York Times has reported that hospitalizations are the lowest they've been since April of 2020, over a year ago, right after the start of the pandemic.

President Biden delivered remarks at the White House on the U.S. surpassing 500,000 deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The president noted that the death toll had surpassed the U.S. deaths in World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined. He said it was important to remember each person and that Americans must “resist becoming numb to the sorrow.” Following his remarks , the president , first lady, vice president and second gentleman held a moment of silence outside the South Portico, where 500 candles were lit to represent the 500,000 Americans who had lost their lives.

"My hope is that Facebook, instead of taking it personally - that somehow I'm saying Facebook is killing people - that they would do something about the misinformation, the outrageous information about the vaccine. That's what I meant."

Biden's walk-back of his original comments was the second time in recent weeks he's been forced to backtrack from public comments that have caused a stir.

It's caused some consternation among people close to the White House and raised memories of past Biden gaffes.

"A little bit cringeworthy, not going to lie," said one major Democratic donor, who referenced former President Trump to underline the discomfort. "I think these sorts of things can be said more artfully and less Trumpy."

In the early months of the administration, Biden was scripted in his remarks, rarely straying from prepared comments and talking points. But the president has made a habit of indulging reporters' questions after events at the White House, leading to more unscripted, unguarded moments in exchanges with the press.

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President Biden delivered remarks at the State Department on U.S. diplomacy and global challenges. He began his remarks by declaring “America is back, America is back. Diplomacy is back, at the center of our foreign policy,” and later speaking about rebuilding alliances that have “atrophied over the past few years of neglect, and I would argue abuse.” The president said he had spoken to President Putin of Russia, saying they haf reached an agreement to preserve the START Treaty, and that the days of America “rolling over” to Russia are done

President -elect Joe Biden delivered remarks on the upcoming holiday from Wilmington, Delaware. The president -elect thanked Congress for passing the 0 billion COVID-19 relief package and called on them to pass more legislation next year as the pandemic continues. He also spoke about the recent cyberattack on government agencies, asking Republicans and Democrats to work together to strengthen cybersecurity.

Those back-and-forths have led to the unforced errors that required clarifications from Biden or White House officials.

During an overseas trip in early June, Biden held a press conference at NATO headquarters where he called on a predetermined list of reporters. When he took a question from an additional journalist in the room, he joked that he was "going to get in trouble with my staff."

Days later in Switzerland, Biden again went beyond the initial list of reporters and took a question from CNN's Kaitlan Collins. The exchange over why Biden was confident Russian President Vladimir Putin would change his behavior grew so testy that the president later apologized for "being such a wiseguy."

In mid-June, Biden created a headache for the White House after he told reporters he wouldn't sign a bipartisan infrastructure deal unless a reconciliation bill filled with Democratic priorities was passed too. The off-script comments threw a bipartisan deal into question hours after it had been clinched, and Biden and White House officials spent the following days denying the president was making a veto threat.

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President -elect Joe Biden , in his first remarks since declared the victor in the 2020 election, pledged to bring unity to the country after a polarizing and brutally fought campaign. Through his entire campaign, Biden ’s message was that he would restore the soul of America, but a part of that was a return to normalcy, an end to the tweeting, the off-the-rails press conferences and the boasting and bombast. For a time, Trump turned his presidency into a 24/7 reality show, but there were plenty of other moments, like the clearing of protesters at Lafayette Square, that disturbed many as something

Biden told Congress he welcomes competition with Chinese President Xi Jinping but his administration will stand up to unfair international trade practices. "I made absolutely clear that I will defend American interests across the board," Biden said, citing trade issues and theft of American intellectual property. "I also told President Xi that we will maintain a strong military presence in the Indo-Pacific just as we do with NATO in Europe — not to start conflict but to prevent conflict," Biden said, referencing tensions in the region.

On Friday, as he walked to Marine One for a weekend at Camp David, Biden made the "killing people" remarks about Facebook.

Political observers say it's clear the White House knew Biden's comments on Facebook were over the top.

"It was a bridge too far," said Tobe Berkovitz, an associate professor of advertising and communication emeritus at Boston University and a former media consultant. "Sometimes you say something that is so silly, inaccurate, and ill-conceived that you have to walk it back. I'm sure the White House thought 'Let's take our lumps on this one and move on.' "

Berkovitz called the Facebook flub "pure Uncle Joe," adding, "You can only keep the leash so tight."

"He's always ad-libbed. He's never been particularly good at it," he said. "Now as president, it's just higher stakes."

"If it was up to the White House, less is more," he added.

Still, there are those who think the straight talk from Biden also has its positives.

One Democratic strategist acknowledged that while the remarks could have been put more delicately - or more on message - voters like the real talk coming from Biden.

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"I don't think it's a bad thing," the strategist said. "It's what distinguishes him from the others. This is who Joe Biden is."

But the strategist said the off-the-cuff remarks by Biden demonstrated a loosening of the guard.

"This has been the most disciplined White House operation I've seen in a long time, and I think that's starting to break a bit. This is what happens when the defense shield drops."

Since taking office, Biden has only held one formal solo press conference at the White House, but he held two while in Europe and has held three others during visits from foreign leaders.

White House officials frequently point to Biden's willingness to take questions after scripted events - sometimes against their wishes - as evidence of his transparency and communication with the public.

"A lot of times we say, 'Don't take questions,' " Psaki told David Axelrod, who served as a strategist to former President Obama, on his podcast in May. "He's going to do what he wants to do, because he's the president of the United States."

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usr: 56
This is interesting!