Biden Gives Puzzling Answer As To Why He Was Late To Press Conference
U.S. President Joe Biden arrives for a news conference at the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Rome, Italy, on Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021. Biden voiced confidence that U.S. lawmakers will pass his legislative agenda as House Democrats work toward votes on his infrastructure and social-spending bills.
Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Joe Biden apologized for showing up late to his press conference in Rome on Sunday following a two-day meeting with world leaders about climate change.

“I apologize for keeping you waiting. We were playing with elevators,” Biden claimed. “Long story.”

When it came time to take questions, Biden said that he was told who to call on.

“And now I’m happy to take some questions, and I’m told I should start with AP, Zeke Miller,” Biden said. “Zeke, you have a question?”


The Republican National Committee (RNC) flagged a clip where Biden appeared to momentarily struggle to remember “China” while he was talking about the event in Rome.

The incident happened during the following exchange [emphasis added]:

REPORTER: Thank you, Mr. President. A question on climate and energy. Can the world and others be confident that you will be able to follow or do — make good on the promises on climate change that you will — that you have made, when you’re at Glasgow, without a vote having taken place on your bill?

And on the same topic, climate: Some NGOs are already saying that the G20 commitments today were underwhelming. How do you respond to their criticism that the G20 response is not a good sign for COP26?

BIDEN: I’ll answer both questions.

Number one, I believe we will pass my Build Back Better plan, and I believe we will pass the infrastructure bill. Combined, they have $900 billion in climate resistance — in dealing with climate and resilience. And it’s the largest investment in the history of the world that’s ever occurred, and it’s going to pass, in my view. But we’ll see. We’ll see.

You know, you’ve all believed it wouldn’t happen from the very beginning, the moment I announced it, and you always seem amazed when it’s alive again. Well, you may turn out to be right; maybe it won’t work. But I believe we’ll see by the end of next week, at home, that it’s passed.

With regard to the — and, by the way, that infrastructure bill delivers an awful lot of things in terms of everything from tax credits for electric vehicles, to making sure we are able to invest, literally, billions of dollars in everything from highways, roads, bridges, public transit, airports, et cetera. But we’ll see.

And with regard to the disappointment: The disappointment relates to the fact that Russia and — and — and including not only Russia, but China, basically didn’t show up in terms of any commitments to deal with climate change. And there’s a reason why people should be disappointed in that. I found it disappointing myself.


RNC Rapid Response Director Tommy Pigott called out Biden for taking only a few questions during the conference.

“That was Biden’s first press conference in 108 days, and he only took 8 questions from an even fewer number of reporters from a preapproved list,” Pigott wrote on Twitter.

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