Fox News reporter Peter Doocy got under the skin of notoriously prickly White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre when he posed the question of why her boss is treated like a baby by his staffers.
During Tuesday’s daily press briefing, Doocy began an extended back-and-forth with Biden’s top spox with a reference to the book that all of Washington, D.C. is talking about, Franklin Foer’s newly released book, “The Last Politician: Inside Joe Biden’s White House and the Struggle for America’s Future.”
“President Biden is the oldest president in U.S. history. Why does White House staff treat him like a baby?” Doocy asked, a question based on a passage from Foer’s book recalling remarks after the octogenarian leader created yet another public relations mess for his staff by seeming to call for regime change in Russia when he was in Warsaw, Poland last year.
DOOCY TIME: “President Biden is the oldest president in U.S. history. Why does WH staff treat him like a baby?”
KJP: “No one treats the President of the United States, the commander-in-chief, like a baby.”
Doocy: “So there’s this book that says–”
KJP: “That’s ridiculous.” pic.twitter.com/IhY4GYc4KB
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) September 5, 2023
“No one treats the President of the United States, the commander in chief, like a baby,” Jean-Pierre snapped.
“That’s ridiculous,” she added. “It’s a ridiculous claim.”
Doocy went on to quote the book, “He knew that he had erred, but then resented his aides for creating the impression that they had cleaned up his mess,” Foer wrote.”Rather than owning his failure, he fumed to his friends about how he was treated like a toddler. Was John Kennedy ever babied like that?”
Jean-Pierre shot back that there will always be “a range of books” about every administration that will have a “variety of claims.”
“That is not unusual. That happens all the time. And we’re not going to litigate those here. That’s something that we’re not going to speak to,” she said, adding her spin that her boss was a force on the world stage by whipping support for the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine.
“I think I was asked this question last week by one of your colleagues about this particular excerpt that they were referring to and so I’ll say this,” Jean-Pierre said. “We did see the excerpt, the context of the excerpt, and it seemed to be making the opposite overall point about how the value of his experience and wisdom resulted in rallying the free world against authoritarianism, which is important — you all have seen this — and passage of the most historic agenda in most recent history, handling of the foreign policy like rallying the world around Ukraine…”
Last week, Jean-Pierre was also confronted by a different reporter about another excerpt from “The Last Politician: Inside Joe Biden’s White House and the Struggle for America’s Future” that Biden admits that he’s often “tired” and that his schedule is impacted as a result.
“That’s a ridiculous assumption to make,” she said. “I mean, that’s a ridiculous assumption to make.”
.@RobCrilly: “There’s a new book…saying [Biden] has told aides in private that he felt tired & that explains why there are so few events before 10AM…Is this why we’re seeing brunch lids…[H]as [he] admitted to you…he felt tired.”
KJP blasts it as “a ridiculous assumption” pic.twitter.com/bbyqTjt365
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) August 30, 2023
“With unparalleled access to the tight inner circle of advisers who have surrounded Biden for decades, Franklin Foer dramatizes in forensic detail the first two years of the Biden presidency, concluding with the historic midterm elections. The result is a gripping and high-definition portrait of a major president at a time when democracy itself seems imperiled. With his back to the wall, Biden resorted to old-fashioned politics: deal-making and compromise,” states the Amazon description of Foer’s book.
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