Biden Cheat Sheet Shows He Knew What Topic Reporter Would Ask Him About
US President Joe Biden holds his notes while answering a question during a press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House after a meeting with South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol April 26, 2023, in Washington, DC.

A cheat sheet that President Joe Biden used to call on reporters during a joint press conference with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Wednesday showed that he knew in advance the topics that the reporter was going to ask him about.

The notecard held by Biden, 80, stated that his first question was to come from Los Angeles Times reporter Courtney Subramanian.

“How are YOU squaring YOUR domestic priorities — like reshoring semiconductors manufacturing — with alliance-based foreign policy?” the question on the card stated.

When Biden called on her, Subramanian stated: “Your top economic priority has been to build U.S. domestic manufacturing in competition with China, but your rules against expanding chip manufacturing in China is hurting South Korean companies that rely heavily on Beijing.”

“Are you damaging a key ally in the competition with China to help your domestic politics ahead of the election?” Subramanian asked.

While the question on the cheat sheet and the question that was eventually asked were not exactly the same, they were on the same topic: How is Biden balancing his domestic priorities regarding chip manufacturing while trying to work with U.S. allies?

Biden has faced criticism in the past for using cheat sheets to help him know who to call on and to help keep him on track during public events.


In 2022, a cheat card that Biden used during a press conference instructed him how to answer “tough Putin” question.

The notecard stated in part:

  • If you weren’t advocating for regime change, what did you mean? Can you clarify?
    • I was expressing the moral outrage I felt towards the actions of this man.
    • I was not articulating a change in policy.

The notecard on how to deal with questions came in response to Biden stating about Putin, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

The White House was forced to quickly walk back Biden’s remarks, 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.

Another part of the card, which was only partly visible, posed an answer to the following question: “Is this now threatening to splinter unity with your NATO allies?”

“No,” the answer part of the card stated. “NATO has never been more united.”

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