President Joe Biden did a bit of “breaking the fourth wall” in the elaborate puppet show called “the Biden administration” on Wednesday.
In a move that may have angered his handlers, Biden alluded to rumors that the White House doesn’t want him having unscripted interactions with the media and wider public.
Winking at the elephant in the room of his apparent cognitive decline in recent years, Biden joked that he’s “not supposed to be answering all these questions,” according to Fox News.
“I’m supposed to leave”
In prepared remarks, Biden encouraged Americans to vaccinate their children against the coronavirus. He then took some questions on crises confronting his administration, including a gas crisis on the East Coast and violence in Israel. Biden was on his way out the door when reporters called him back.
“You guys are bad, I’m not supposed to be answering all these questions, I’m supposed to leave,” he said, according to the New York Post. “But I can’t resist your questions.
Biden’s remark mirrored a frank admission just days ago from Biden Press Secretary Jen Psaki that the White House doesn’t “recommend” spontaneous chatter between the president and the media.
While skirting the topic of Biden’s cognitive condition, Psaki confessed that Biden’s staffers stress about his already scarce engagements with the press. The president has only had one press conference, in March, since he was sworn in, the Post notes.
“That is not something we recommend. In fact, a lot of times we say ‘don’t take questions,'” Psaki said, according to Fox. “But he’s going to do what he wants to do because he’s the president of the United States.”
The gaffes continue
Of course, speculation about Biden’s cognitive condition is nothing new, and it wasn’t difficult to see Wednesday why the White House is concerned.
As Biden veered off the prepared script on vaccines, he showed signs of confusion. He forgot the name of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), referring to him simply as the “Republican leader,” according to The Daily Wire, and he answered just two questions, neither one providing much clarity.
While addressing the fuel shortage caused by the disruption of the Colonial Pipeline, Biden went on a long tangent about creating a “better educated workforce” to stop cyberattacks. “I know that’s not a direct response to your question, but it does impact on it I think down the road,” he said, according to a transcript.
As Americans face rising inflation and other crises, it would be nice to know who exactly is in charge of the White House.