A top press secretary for Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign erupted in anger on Thursday afternoon after he was asked during a live television interview if Biden has been using a teleprompter to answer questions during media interviews.
The segment is especially news worthy because Biden has faced repeated questions about his mental fitness for office, and the Trump campaign has continually highlighted instances in which Biden appears to be using a teleprompter to answer questions during interviews.
“Has Joe Biden ever used a teleprompter during local interviews or to answer Q&A with supporters?” Fox News anchor Bret Baier asked.
“Bret, we are not going to eng–, this is, this is straight from the Trump campaign talking points,” Biden spokesperson TJ Ducklo erupted.
“Well yeah, they’re using it,” Baier responded.
“And what it does, and what it does, Bret, is it’s trying to distract the American people,” Ducklo ranted.
“They’re using it; they talk about it every day, can you say ‘yes’ or ‘no’?” Baier pressed.
“They talk about it every day, Bret, because they don’t have a coherent strategy—” Ducklo continued.
“Well, you haven’t answered,” Baier pressed. “Yes or no?”
After Ducklo continued to rant, Baier responded, “I understand, but you can’t answer the question.”
Ducklo then promoted a conspiracy theory, suggesting without evidence that the Trump campaign was funneling their questions through Fox News in an effort to get the Biden campaign to respond.
Bret Baier just asked Biden's National Press Sec a simple yes or no question:
Has Joe Biden ever used a teleprompter during a TV interview?
TJ Ducklo refused to answer and instead had a meltdown. Disaster of an interview for the Biden campaign. pic.twitter.com/OEyi2eb31L
— Kelb Hull (@CalebJHull) September 10, 2020
Here are just a few of the examples of the Trump campaign documenting Biden’s alleged use of a teleprompter to answer questions during interviews:
Joe Biden motions to staff to change the teleprompter:
"And uh, in addition to that, uh, in addition to that, we have to, uh, make sure that we uh, we are in a position that we are, well, let me, let me go to the second thing. I've spoke enough on that." pic.twitter.com/2PoLxZnlaI
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) September 2, 2020
Joe Biden is relying on a teleprompter to answer questions: "move it up here," he tells his staff.
There are long pauses between his words as he waits for the prompter to scroll. pic.twitter.com/zYlMbfd2mA
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) September 7, 2020
Here's a photo of the teleprompter Joe Biden will likely be relying on this morning to answer questions about Tara Reade. pic.twitter.com/HuAgYEJAKh
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) May 1, 2020
WATCH: Struggling to use his teleprompter, Joe Biden asks someone off screen to "keep it down" and then "go back to the top." pic.twitter.com/079IRJKnSj
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) May 27, 2020
Joe Biden is totally LOST without a teleprompter.
Here he is fumbling around, trying to think, before finally asking staff to "put that back on." pic.twitter.com/fHslgB31CN
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) May 27, 2020
Who typed a question mark on Joe Biden's teleprompter? pic.twitter.com/PQeWGcgXp9
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) April 13, 2020
Earlier in the day, Biden appeared to struggle to keep his thoughts straight while trying to deny that he was “Slow Joe.”
“Who’s, I mean, this idea of, you know, ‘Slow Joe,’” Biden said as he started to laugh before losing his train of thought. “I, anyway, I, I shouldn’t laugh about it because, uh, anyway, Donald Trump, uh, just look at us both, watch us, and determine whether or not you think, uh, um, I’m misleading anyone, not you personally, but the public, you know, look at me, judge me based on—”
During an interview in August, Biden told a reporter: “Anyway, I am uh, I am very willing to let the American public judge my physical and mental fil- my physical as well as my mental fil- fitness.”
The Daily Wire reported:
It’s worth noting that numerous Democrats, progressives, and left-wing publications have also questioned Biden’s mental fitness for office. Biden, who said a couple of months ago that he was ‘constantly tested’ for cognitive decline, walked those claims back last week, denying that he had been tested for cognitive decline and saying, ‘Why the hell would I take a test?’
Washington Post columnist Mark Thiessen highlighted just a few of Biden’s recent struggles:
There is plenty of cause for concern. Biden recently announced “I think we can win back the House” and promised to ban the “AR-14.” He mistook Super Tuesday for “Super Thursday,” and forgot the words of the Declaration of Independence, saying “We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women are created, by the, you know, you know the thing.” In South Carolina, he misstated what office he was running for, declaring “My name’s Joe Biden. I’m a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate.” On three occasions last month, Biden declared he was arrested in South Africa trying to visit Nelson Mandela in prison — an incident his campaign later admitted never happened. He earlier described meeting a Navy captain in Afghanistan, but The Post reported that “almost every detail in the story appears to be incorrect.” He claimed to have worked with Chinese leader “Deng Xiaoping” on the Paris Climate Accord (Deng died in 1997)/. He claimed during a debate that “150 million people have been killed [by guns] since 2007” (which would be nearly half the U.S. population). He said he met with Parkland victims while he was vice president even though the shooting took place after he left office. He has declared that Democrats should “choose truth over facts” and that “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.” He pledged to use biofuels to power “steamships.” He repeatedly gets confused about what state he is in; called “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace “Chuck”; said his late son Beau “was the attorney general of the United States”; and confused former British prime minister Theresa May with the late British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
Any one of these gaffes in isolation would be nothing more than that. But taken together they form a pattern – and raise questions about whether Biden has experienced a cognitive decline. Biden’s defenders say this is unfair, and some have even suggested raising it is ageism. No, it’s not. His socialist rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is 78 — almost a year older than Biden — yet no one is questioning his mental fitness. On Monday night, Sanders spent an hour at a Fox News town hall where he was challenged to defend his policies and answered in great detail and without any gaffes or senior moments. Could Biden do the same?
This story has been updated to include additional information.