Joe Biden's loyal press secretary said it's "entirely normal" for the president to receive questions journalists will ask him beforehand, after he was caught with a detailed cheat sheet the day before.
The unusually sheltered 80-year-old president accidentally pulled back the curtain at a press conference Wednesday with South Korea's president, where reporters had a rare opportunity to talk to the POTUS.
The note card included a question from a Los Angeles Times reporter, along with a picture of her face and a complete phrasing of the question.
“How are YOU squaring YOUR domestic priorities — like reshoring semiconductors manufacturing — with alliance-based foreign policy?” the card read.
This is far from the first time Biden has been caught using crib notes, but the detail of the card was striking. Nevertheless, Biden press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called it "entirely normal. "
“It’s entirely normal for a president to be briefed on reporters who will be asking questions at a press conference and issues we expect they might ask about," she said Thursday.
Biden used a cheat sheet at today's press conference — with a reporter's question written on it pic.twitter.com/jfZu5JxKz5
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 26, 2023
Jean-Pierre insisted that the White House does not receive specific questions before a briefing, although the question Los Angeles Times reporter Courtney Subramanian asked was very similar to what was on the card.
Biden was asked, "Are you damaging a key ally in the competition with China to help your domestic politics ahead of the election?"
Biden pledged to be transparent on day one of his presidency, but he has barely held any press briefings three years in. When he does, he consistently requires detailed notes to get through them.
By contrast, President Trump was known to engage extemporaneously with reporters, including in the White House briefing room.
Biden's Wednesday briefing lasted about half an hour, and he answered just two questions. The second question was about Americans who "aren't convinced" Biden is fit to serve another term.
Biden, who declared his re-election campaign on Tuesday, said he's going to let the people be the judge.
"But the only thing I can say is that one of the things that people are going to find out is, they're going to see a race, and they are going to judge whether or not I have it or don't have it," he said.