On his 64th day in office, President Joe Biden finally delivered the press conference we’d all been waiting for. And it was everything we expected.
Biden held his first formal press conference in the East Room last Thursday afternoon. The president kept a few palm cards on hand, as well as a cheat sheet with the names and headshots of reporters in the room, with circled numbers indicating whose questions to take. In other words, the White House press team had pre-chosen favored media figures. It’s not clear if the questions had been vetted in advance, but this was a bizarre and unprecedented move for any White House.
The entire presser lasted 62 minutes, which apparently was not enough time to call on Fox News’ White House correspondent – who, despite his network’s leftward shift, has been tough on the Biden regime in recent weeks.
The 62 minutes was, however, enough time to bask in being called “a moral, decent man” by taxpayer-funded PBS. The White House called a lid shortly after the press conference ended.
Biden opened the presser by announcing a new goal of administering 200 million vaccines within the first 100 days of his presidency.
“I know it’s ambitious, twice our original goal, but no other country in the world has even come close—not even close—to what we are doing,” the president said, suggesting that the Biden White House either incorrectly estimated or deliberately misrepresented its capabilities by 100 million.
While the United States does lead the world in the number of vaccines administered—about 133.3 million doses—it does not lead the world in vaccinations per capita. Four countries are ahead of the United States: Israel has delivered 111 shots per 100 people, the United Arab Emirates has delivered 80 per 100 people, Chile has delivered 50 per 100 people, and the U.K. has delivered 48 per 100 people.
Biden continued to take great pride in what he can accomplish without Republicans now that Democrats control both houses of Congress. “Many of you thought there was no possibility of my getting the plan I got passed, passed, without any Republican votes. A pretty big deal. It got passed,” he said.
On the Crisis at the Border.
After PBS correspondent Yamiche Alcindor asked whether Biden’s reputation with illegal immigrants as “a moral, decent man” is encouraging parents to send their children to the border, Biden replied, “Well, look, I guess I should be flattered people are coming because I’m the nice guy.”
In a veritable cascade of misinformation, Biden went on to say that a surge at the border “happens every year,” that President Donald Trump “eliminated” foreign aid to Central America, and that “we’re sending back the vast majority of the families that are coming.”
NBC News fact-checked virtually every aspect of Biden’s answer, and he simply lied about the surge of unaccompanied minors:
“There is a far bigger surge of unaccompanied minor children right now than there was two years ago. From January to February 2019, there was a 31 percent surge in children stopped by CBP. From January to February 2021, there has been a 61 percent surge in those stops,” NBC reported.
The State Department restored the majority of Trump’s foreign aid cuts. As of March 23, just 13 percent of inadmissible family units had been expelled under Title 42 in the past week.
Biden twice ridiculed the notion (held by no one) that Central American families sit at their kitchen tables thinking it would be “fun” to send children on the perilous journey to the U.S. border—a dodge which is irrelevant to the question of whether Biden’s rhetoric has encouraged them to do so and what to do about the influx of unaccompanied minors.
On Detention Facilities.
Biden scoffed at a question on whether the situation at border detention facilities is “acceptable” to him: “That’s a serious question, right? Is it acceptable to me? Come on.”
So unacceptable, apparently, that he can’t commit to any further transparency at this time. Asked if he would “commit to allowing journalists to have access to the facilities that are overcrowded moving forward,” Biden said that he “will commit when my plan, very shortly, is underway… I will commit to transparency as soon as I am in a position to be able to implement what we are doing right now.”
In other words—You can have a look at the problem as soon as I fix the problem. Biden also explained unprompted that he hasn’t visited the border because he doesn’t want to “get in the way.” He did, apparently, want to get in the way in Atlanta when he visited after a mass murder.
Asked about China’s human rights abuses, forced labor practices, and the meeting in Alaska, Biden replied, “Well, look, they’re each specifically legitimate questions, but they only touch a smidgen of what the relationship with China really is about.”
He went on to tout his close relationship with Xi Jinping and outlined a series of steps to invest in American workers, science, and alliances—but stressed, “It’s not anti-Chinese. And we’ve talked about it.” When it comes to China’s human rights abuses, Biden’s message to Xi is that it’s not in Xi’s best interest: “No leader can be sustained in his position or her position unless they represent the values of the country.”
Biden concluded that he’s aware of China’s ambitions and doesn’t find fault with them. “China has an overall goal, and I don’t criticize them for the goal, but they have an overall goal to become the leading country in the world, the wealthiest country in the world, and the most powerful country in the world.” But not on his watch, because America will “continue to grow and expand,” Biden said. What a relief!
On Gun Control.
As he neared the end of his press conference, Biden stated that passing gun control legislation is a “a matter of timing.”
Q: I know you haven’t had a chance to address the tragedies in Georgia and Colorado. You had said to stay tuned for actions that you might take on gun control. Wondering if you’ve made a decision either about sending the manufacturer liability bill that you had promised on day one to Capitol Hill, or executive actions like going after ghost guns or giving money to cities and states to battle gun control.
BIDEN: All the above. It’s a matter of timing. As you’ve all observed, successful presidents—better than me—have been successful, in large part, because they know how to time what they’re doing—order it, decide and prioritize what needs to be done.
The president did not specify whether he was referring to the emotional fallout of mass murders or another “matter of timing,” but immediately pivoted to a lengthy explanation of his ambitions on infrastructure.
Quotable: America’s With You On That One.
Q: “Have you decided whether you are going to run for reelection in 2024? You haven’t set up a reelection campaign yet, as your predecessor had by this time.”
BIDEN: (Laughter.) “My predecessor need do [sic]—needed to. My predecessor. Oh God, I miss him.”