An aide for President Joe Biden shouted over reporters who were trying to ask the president questions on Tuesday as the president visited a local hardware store in Washington, D.C., which comes a day after the president appeared to forget the name of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
The Washington Post reported that Biden visited “W.S. Jenks & Son, a hardware store in Washington that the White House said received a loan after Biden announced a change in rules last month to prioritize ‘mom-and-pop’ businesses with 20 or fewer employees.”
After Biden’s visit to the store, which lasted several minutes, reporters tried to ask the president questions, at which point someone started shouting over them that it was time to go and they needed to move out, thus blocking the reporters from asking Biden questions. One reporter was trying to ask Biden a question about his “crisis at the border.”
Biden’s handlers aggressively prevent the press from asking POTUS any questions after his brief remarks at a D.C. hardware store pic.twitter.com/kTXFIe9ERM
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 9, 2021
A full video of Biden’s appearance at the hardware store shows that the video clip was not taken out of context.
The incident comes just one day after Biden appeared to forget the name of his secretary of defense and the Pentagon during a news conference on International Women’s Day.
“I want to thank you both and I want to thank the sec-, the, the, ugh, the former general, I keep calling him general but my, my, ugh, the guy who runs that outfit over there,’ Biden said. “I want to make sure we thank the secretary for all he’s done to try to implement what we’ve just talked about and for recommending these two women for promotion. Thank you all and God bless you all and may God protect our troops.”
The surprising part about Biden’s remarks was that approximately a minute earlier he did remember Austin’s name, referring to him as “Secretary Austin.”
The Daily Wire noted:
Critics were quick to draw attention to the issue with many mentioning the 25th Amendment—which allows a president to be removed from office if they are deemed to be unfit—while others suggested that the apparent incident was an example of why Biden has still not given a solo press conference after being in office for 48 days, which is by far the longest in modern history.
The Washington Post Editorial Board called out Biden at the start of the week for still not having held a solo press conference, writing that “Americans have every right to expect that he will regularly submit himself to substantial questioning.”
“Though Mr. Biden regularly answers a smattering of questions after making announcements or other events, Post media critic Erik Wemple points out that these often perfunctory exchanges are no substitute for formal, solo news conferences at which reporters can ask follow-up questions, answers are supposed to be more than a couple of words long, and the president’s thoughts on a wide range of issues can be mined,” The Washington Post’s Editorial Board wrote. “Mr. Biden should be eager to advertise his more thoughtful, reality-based approach. He should do so in front of reporters, for extended periods of time, and more often than his late start would suggest.”
This report has been updated to include additional information.
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