The Fourth Estate - Hard Hitting Questions at VP Biden's Presser

Man, they were sure tough on Good Old Uncle Joe, weren’t they?

A comment on the editing below. I’m striving for brevity and do not think I’m unfairly leaving out material, but let me know if/where I’ve goofed in this. You can see the full transcript as well as Mr. Biden’s answer’s to the Q/A session below.

  • The Atlantic’s Edward-Isaac Dovere: “This morning in reference to that article in The Atlantic, in a call convened by your campaign, Khizr Khan said that the comments demonstrated that President Trump’s life is a testament to selfishness and that his soul is that of a coward… what does it [the Atlantic’s report] tell you about President Trump’s soul and the life he leads?”

  • (Also Dovere): “On a somewhat related topic. What would you say to the supporters of the QAnon, the people who believe in that conspiracy… [a]nd what would you say to President Trump for not rejecting that conspiracy and the people who believe in it?”

  • CNN’s Ming Jun Lee: “President Trump mocked you for wearing a mask… even though he knows that according to scientists and public health officials, wearing masks saves lives. I wonder if you worry that this kind of language that comes from the President of the United States could deter some Americans who are tuning into him to not wear masks.”

  • (I think, also Lee): “Could I just ask quickly about Attorney General William Barr saying on CNN this week, he said that his assessment right now is that China poses the most aggressive threat to US elections even more than Iran or Russia, do you believe him? Is that also your understanding based on the intelligence briefings that you have received?”

  • (VP Biden’s response is both as-solicited and short) “No no, it’s not consistent with the briefings I’ve received. And he’s a lousy enough attorney general, but he’s a really bad intelligence officer.”

  • CBS’s Ed O’Keefe: “[t]he president… once again suggested to his supporters that they should consider voting twice… just curious what you make of it.”

  • (O’Keefe again): "You said today is the angriest you’ve been as a presidential candidate… Aren’t there a lot of people out there who are supporting you or inclined to not vote for the president, who would say, “Why isn’t Joe Biden, angrier about all of this.”

  • ABC’s Mary Bruce: "… about voting, we know the president has been attacking mail in voting, even now suggesting his supporters vote twice… are you concerned at all that … your supporters may give up on voting by mail because they’re concerned that it may be rigged?

Other questions were similarly the sort of tough, hard-hitting questions you’d expect the media to pepper a major party presidential candidate with.

  • Did you get a COVID test?
  • When do you think you’ll get another COVID test?
  • How is Senator Harris doing? We haven’t seen her out campaigning much. What will be her role in the campaign?
  • Is it good that we’ve now added some jobs back?


And finally a question that doesn’t seem like a softball, followed by what seemed a pretty good answer for one caught unaware of the specifics.

  • (Unfortunately not sure who this is): “President Trump has just announced an economic normalization deal between Serbia and Kosovo. And part of that deal is Kosovo and Israel having diplomatic normalization. You have stated that you support a two state solution in the Middle East. Would you support more Muslim majority countries normalizing relations with Israel, even though it may mean that the Palestinians will lose leverage in their fight towards a two state solution?”

  • (VP Biden): “I don’t know what the deal is you’re referring to [but] have argued …Kosovo should be an independent country, not a part of Serbia. I’ve spent a lot of time there… I assume that would reinforce that independence… normalization of relations among countries is a by and large an almost every instance, a good thing to have a Muslim majority country normalizing relations with Israel. And in a generic sense seems positive to me, but I have to know the detail of what’s happening, what’s going on. And I don’t know that and it may, you may be right, that, that would cause the Palestinians to lose leverage in a decision on a two state solution.”

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"President Trump once refused to tip a waiter and later claimed that the waiter gave him bad service and didn’t deserve a tip.

“What do you think that says about his ability to govern the country?”

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I was listening to it live and just kept shaking my head at all the nonsense he was talking about. It was a “feel good” presser that the Democrats use to manipulate their emotional base into voting for them. It’s the same playbook they always use because they know it works. There was almost no substance and what little substance was there was out-of-touch or simply false. It can be summed up to ‘we don’t have any real policies or solutions, but the bad orange man is bad and orange, amirite??’

It was a short presser and about midway thru you could already see him starting to fade. By the end of it he was gaffing it up as usual. His handlers had to call it because they saw he wasn’t doing well.

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I do remember that during the 2016 campaign, a reporter from the Atlantic asked Trump:

  • “There’s video of Secretary Clinton saying it didn’t really matter at this point why the 4 Americans were killed in Benghazi. And there’s video of Mrs. Clinton saying she wanted to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business. Someone said her comments demonstrated she has a soul that is dark and shriveled up just like the Grinch’s… what do these things tell you about Secretary Clinton’s soul, and the life she leads?”
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I think Biden himself did fine; my complaint is with the media acting like Biden 2020 Campaign staff members.

Except the lady asking the last question I posted above; and his answer showed that although he spent 60 seconds caveating the heck out of his reply, he stuck with her overall question well and in the end got directly back to her point.

I did like Ted Cruz’s analysis.

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