While President Joe Biden was sipping tea and snacking on crumpets in jolly ol’ England on Sunday, an interview he taped with CBS’s “60 Minutes” aired back in his home country.
And as they say in London, blimey, it was bloody bonkers.
Biden, looking every minute of his 78 years on the planet, made so many misstatements and blunders in the trainwreck interview that his White House staff chundered, then got to work walking back much of what he said.
On the alarming side, Biden said the U.S. would send troops to defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.
Come again? We’re going to get in a land war in Asia? Even Vizzini in “The Princess Bride” knows that is always a terrible idea.
CBS’s Scott Pelley asked Biden if the U.S. military would swoop in to go to war with China if it invaded.
“Would US forces defend the island?” Pelley asked in the interview taped on Thursday.
“Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack,” the president said. Did he mean “unprovoked,” cuz… oh, never mind.
“So unlike Ukraine, to be clear, sir — U.S. forces, U.S. men and women, would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?” Pelley followed.
“Yes,” Biden said.
But after the airing of the interview, the White House quickly said that U.S. policy on Taiwan hasn’t changed. What’s that policy? Glad you asked.
“The US maintains ‘strategic ambiguity’ on whether American soldiers would defend Taiwan, but has pledged to help equip the island to defend itself under the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979,” the White House said.
Yeah, that clears it all up.
Then Pelley, in a stunning display of near journalism, went there.
“Mr. President, as you know, last Tuesday, the annual inflation rate came in at 8.3%, the stock market nosedived, people are shocked by their grocery bills. What can you do better and faster?”
“Well, first of all,” Biden said, “let’s put this in perspective. Inflation rate month to month was just, uh, up, up, just an inch. Hardly at all.”
“You’re not arguing that 8.3 is good news,” Pelley said.
“No, I’m not sayin’ it is good news, but it was 8.2 or 8.2 before.”
So, uh, it was 8.2 before. Got it.
“I mean, you’re acting, make it sound like all of a sudden, oh my God, it went to 8.2%. It’s been….” Biden said.
Pelley cut in. “It’s the highest inflation rate, Mr. President, in 40 years.”
“I got that. But guess what we are. We’re in a position where for the last several months, it hasn’t spiked. It is just barely — it’s been basically even. And in the meantime, we created all these jobs and, and pr- prices have, have, one up, but they’ve come down for energy,” the president said.
“The fact is that we’ve created 10 million new jobs. We’re in a sense — we came to office. We’re in a situation where we — the unemployment rate is about 3.7%, one of the lowest in history. We’re in a situation where manufacturing is coming back to the United States in a big way.”
An aside here: Biden is a professional talker. That’s what the Senate is, home to professional talkers. And he so often makes no sense these days. Back in the 1990s, I covered him as a congressional reporter and he was also sharp. Nowadays, not so much.
Biden had one more major blunder to spout.
“Is the pandemic over?” Pelley asked.
“The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it,” Biden said.
But, uh, wait. Weren’t you saying this was the worst thing since polio? Didn’t you JUST use COVID as a reason why Americans should back yet another multi-billion-dollar bill to make America great again? And hasn’t your administration put into effect heavy restrictions for federal workers and members of the military?
While many Americans have moved on from the pandemic after more than two years of masks and lockdowns, deaths still number more than 400 a day. What’s more, the top immunologist in the U.S. jumped out to say it’s not over.
“We have only 67 percent of our population vaccinated and only one-half of those have received a single boost,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
“But we are not where we need to be if we’re going to be able to, quote, ‘live with the virus,’ because we know we’re not going to eradicate it. We only did that with one virus, which is smallpox, and that was very different because smallpox doesn’t change from year to year, or decade to decade, or even from century to century,” Fauci said.
One thing is true: Biden is making his press office staff earn their money because every time he opens his mouth, they have to walk back nearly everything that comes out of it.
Talk about job security.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.