According to an administration report, Tuesday night’s evening report stated that many White House staffers will turn off their TV or mute it completely while President Joe Biden speaks.
The staffers say they are anxiety-filled when their boss makes public remarks, Politico reported, because they are worried he will take questions from the press or veer off message.
‘I know people who habitually don’t watch it live for that reason,’ a current official said.
Biden is known for his gaffes, especially on campaign trails. During his Senate tenure, Biden also was long-winded with reporters because he wanted them to understand his perspective.
Biden feels that he is still the best messenger now that he is in the White House. However, his staff sometimes disagree with him.
Biden’s July 8 statement to reporters that the Taliban would take over Afghanistan after the U.S. troop withdrawal was one of the most embarrassing faux pas since becoming president. The Islamic militant group took over the country in just two weeks, less than a month after the troop withdrawal.
According to Politico, Biden’s advisors have asked him to limit the number of reporters who ask questions about his events.
On some occasions, the president did as instructed and left the podium immediately after his remarks. Republicans and media criticized him for not answering questions following his remarks about the withdrawal from Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of Kabul last month.
Biden may also reveal that his aides try to restrain him, but still allow it to happen. For example, after his FEMA comments the other week, Biden said: “I’m not supposed take questions, but you go ahead.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a podcast interview in spring: ‘A lot of times, we say, ‘Don’t take questions.’ But he’s going to do what he wants to do because he’s the president of the United States.’
To the dismay and surprise of his staff, Biden is succeeding a president who will take nearly every opportunity to talk with the media.
The White House was soon a prominent presence in the lives of the press and the general public.
Biden seems to want to interact more with media, but his communications team is pulling him in. Biden even has trouble avoiding gaffes in scripted remarks.
He claimed that the administration had evacuated 90% of Americans from Afghanistan, when he actually said 98%.
The teleprompter emphasizes certain words, and only a few words at once. This could force him to slow down and actually read what’s there.
Biden had a stable and high approval rating of over 50%, but his popularity dropped after the withdrawal from Afghanistan, which resulted in the deaths of 13 U.S. military personnel and thousands of Afghan refugees.
A poll found that only 3 out of 10 Americans approve of the president’s handling on Afghanistan withdrawal.