Photos of President Joe Biden relying on a full page of large-font cheat sheet notes to answer questions on an issue of primary national importance, undermine Biden’s assurances of mental fitness and contribute to the waning confidence Americans have in his ability to lead.
On Monday, Biden was roundly criticized for talking with reporters with a cheat sheet for how to respond to ‘tough Putin’ questions in hand.
The terrible optics follow a week of questionable if not alarming statements by Biden. Last Thursday, the President indicated that if Russia used chemical weapons in Ukraine, then the United States would respond in kind. Biden said:
“It would trigger a response in kind; whether or not you’re asking whether NATO would cross, we’d make that decision at the time.”
That response seemingly changed America’s foreign and military strategy and was immediately walked back and contradicted by the U.S. National Security Advisor.
Over the weekend, Biden told soldiers of the 82nd Airborne that they would soon see, firsthand, what is happening in Ukraine. This apparent policy change prompted White House staff to release a flurry of clarifications and disclaimers.
On Saturday, Biden seemed to advocate regime change in Russia, saying, “Brutality will never grind down the road to be free. For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”
The White House quickly attempted to walk back Biden’s declaration, saying in a statement:
“The President’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region. He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.”
Monday’s cheat sheet fiasco included talking point helps on anticipated questions. Here is an example:
- If you weren’t advocating for regime change, what did you mean? Can you clarify?
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- I was expressing the moral outrage I felt towards the actions of this man.
- I was not articulating a change in policy.
The cheat sheet included anticipated questions and approved responses. One question read: “Is this now threatening to splinter unity with your NATO allies?”
The answer was also provided: “No,” the answer part of the card stated. “NATO has never been more united.”
Reporters, leaders in media, and government leaders expressed their views on various social media platforms. The Daily Wire includes these responses:
- Mike Cernovich, political commentator: “Utterly embarrassing.”
- Clay Travis, radio host: “The Biden presidency just keeps getting more embarrassing. He isn’t well and even with the questions in advance they still have to write out answers out for him.”
- Tammy Bruce, political commentator: “How much longer can this continue?”
- Stephen L. Miller, political commentator: “If this was the last guy this is all Washington Post and CNN would talk about for the week and Sunday.”
- Kayleigh McEnany, former White House press secretary: “I can’t believe this is the President’s pocket card! I’m surprised it didn’t start with: ‘Hi, my name is President Biden…'”
- Dan McLaughlin, National Review: “I did not believe this was real until I watched the video. I get that presidents need to be reminded what their policy is on some obscure corners of governance. But this is a simple question about the centerpiece of current U.S. foreign policy.”
- Ben Williamson, political advisor: “Having a set of talking points specifically labeled for ‘tough’ questions is too perfect.”
- Hans Mahncke, political commentator: “Do White House stenographers submit their questions beforehand or are they just told what to ask?”
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