Wet mop cleanup after Biden accuses key Asian allies of xenophobia

To President Joe Biden’s credit, he has recently avoided any major gaffes on the international level but that changed when he insulted two of the nation’s Asian allies, sending the White House into damage-control mode.

The octogenarian leader was speaking to donors at a Washington, D.C. fundraiser on Wednesday when he accused Japan and India of being xenophobic because, unlike the United States and other Western countries, the political leadership isn’t keen on being overrun by immigrants.

“This election is about freedom, America and democracy. That’s why I badly need you. You know, one of the reasons why our economy is growing is because of you and many others. Why? Because we welcome immigrants,” Biden said.

“Why is China stalling so badly economically? Why is Japan having trouble? Why is Russia? Why is India? Because they’re xenophobic,” he said during his speech at the Mayflower Hotel.

“They don’t want immigrants. Immigrants are what makes us strong. Not a joke. That’s not hyperbole, because we have an influx of workers who want to be here and want to contribute,” Biden added, in another one of the verbal blunders that have given his handlers fits.

The president also lumped India and Japan, who are both critical partners, in with adversarial nations China and Russia in remarks that likely weren’t greeted with enthusiasm by the State Department whose job is already difficult enough due to Biden’s policies without such unforced errors that rankle global relationships.

Biden’s top spox, Karine Jean-Pierre, covered for her boss when asked whether he intended to apologize during a Thursday press gaggle onboard Air Force One while en route to a campaign event in North Carolina.

“The word xenophobic is a very pejorative and negative word, particularly to use against an ally. Is that what he meant?” a reporter asked Biden’s diversity hire.

“Look, he – I think he was – I think look, the president ah, was very clear and I think…” Jean-Pierre responded.

“But he wasn’t very clear, I mean that’s why we’re asking you,” the reporter said.

“Well look, here’s what I’m saying,” she replied. “He was talking about what, who we are as a country, right? He was talking about the importance about of being a country of immigrants.”

“Especially as you see the attacks, that we have seen, very recently in the last couple of years on those attacks, on immigrants in particular,” Jean-Pierre said, not giving any details about which “attacks” she may have been referring to.

“And so it is important for us to remember that we are a country of immigrants. I’m explaining where he’s, what he, what he was talking about and how he was, what he was focusing on in those comments” she added. “A country of immigrants, it makes us stronger, it is important to let, to be very clear about that and the president’s always gonna be, uh, uh really clear on, on, on speaking to uh, you know, issues that matter to the American people.”

As is always the case with the historic first black lesbian immigrant to hold the high-profile job, a lot of meaningless words without answering a question.

“Look, I think the broader point the president was making, and I think people all around the world recognize this, is that the United States is a nation of immigrants and it’s in our DNA,” John Kirby, the National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communication, told reporters on Thursday. “We’re stronger for it. We’re not going to walk away from it. And that’s the broader point that he was making.”

Japanese lawmakers reacted to Biden’s insulting suggestion that their country is racist.

“Migration is a problem that European leaders are struggling with, too. There aren’t any countries that have solved this problem as of now,” said Mizuho Umemura, a member of the House of Councilors who belongs to the conservative Nippon Ishin no Kai Party.

“I hope that President Biden will solve the problem in New York before he says things like this. Depending on the presidential election, there could be a 180-degree change in policy, and there is no need for Japan to follow suit,” she added.

“It’s not that we’re xenophobic, we are being cautious after seeing your failures,” said Sohei Kamiya, another member of the House of Councilors. “You are meddling too much in our internal affairs.”

Chris Donaldson

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