OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Fox News host Kayleigh McEnany, a former press secretary for former President Donald Trump who has been at odds with him, gave a brutal assessment of President Joe Biden’s press conference after Special Counsel Robert Hur released his report on the president’s handling of classified documents.
“We just saw an unmitigated disaster play out before our very eyes. We just watched a wounded political animal hobble to a podium and react with defensiveness, with anger, and you know it’s bad, Jesse, when you have the White House press corps. They are essentially an extension of the Joe Biden press and communications team,” she told Fox News colleague Jesse Watters during his Friday program.
“When they are shouting at him, asking repeatedly, ‘Are you going to step aside, Mr. President?’ The CNN correspondent asking that. When NBC, of all places, writes the headline, a nightmare, special counsel report triggers panic among Democrats. When you have a president who for 45 minutes announces a press conference with no topic, giving the world 45 minutes to speculate is he stepping aside? What would life be like under a President Kamala Harris? For 45 minutes, the nation got to feel that panic, and I don’t think they will forget it come November,” she added.
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There were even Democrats who were upset with how the president handled the press conference.
Democratic strategist Paul Begala, a CNN contributor, believes that Biden’s press conference after Hur released his report on his handling of classified documents was also bad for his party.
“How much democratic bedwetting do you think there will be? I bring up the term (inaudible),” host John Berman asked.
“Oh yes. Look, I’m a Biden supporter. I slept like a baby last night. I woke up every two hours crying and wet the bed. This is terrible for Democrats, and anybody with a functioning brain knows that. But here’s what you do, instead of calling a press conference saying I really am sharp, you attack the other guy,” the Democrat strategist said.
“You know, Joe Biden gave the strategy in 2012. He was, I remember, he was vice president, and he said don’t compare us to the Almighty compares to the alternative. So everything was Biden has to be not I’m great but the other guy’s really damaging, dangerous, a threat,” he said.
“You know, the — this is an — John is exactly right, right? This is going to be a really rough, ugly, unpleasant campaign. Look at years ago, David Duke, the former Klansman, was running for governor against Edwin Edwards, who had been charged, indicted, and convicted of any number of crimes. Edwin won the campaign with a bumper sticker that said, vote for the crook. It’s important. And they’re going to tell Democrats, look, both for the old guy, support the old guy. It’s important…,” he said.
“So you think they blew it last night? Just to be clear, do you think last night was — it was a mistake to have him out there?” Berman said.
“Well, no. I want to see more of Joe Biden, but the gaps are built in. But instead of simply saying, I’m OK. He just simply — he needs to be on the attack 24/7 for the next 269 days,” the strategist said.
A noted political analyst and mainstream media columnist argued on Saturday that the reason the White House decided against allowing Biden to sit for a pre-game Super Bowl interview for the second year in a row is fear he’d say something “stupid.”
In an interview with NPR, New York Times columnist David Brooks, who appeared with Washington Post associate editor Jonathan Capehart, explained to host Amna Nawaz that Hur’s report citing Biden’s lapsing memory and mental capacity likely drove the White House’s decision.