US press lashes Biden after press conference to mark a year in office

US press lashes Biden for bumbling press conference to mark a year in office: Washington Post says he ‘escalated partisan rhetoric’, Wall Street Journal calls it a failure and CNN’s Dana Bash says staff will now have to clean up his mess

  • Biden’s comment appearing to allow Putin a ‘minor incursion’ into Ukraine was met with widespread confusion and anger, though he cleared it up Thursday
  • CNN’s Bash said that would have left a mess for the State Department to clear 
  • He spoke for more than 90 minutes, the longest press conference in presidential history
  • The Wall Street Journal editorial board called it an opportunity to course-correct on a bumpy first year in office, though they claim Biden didn’t take it
  • The New York Post editorial board branded Biden’s marathon grilling a ‘disaster’ 

Biden held the longest presidential press conference in history on Wednesday, though it was at times filled with meandering and ambiguous answers

Mainstream media outlets are seizing on President Joe Biden’s lengthy Wednesday press conference, accusing the commander-in-chief of failing to turn around the perception that his administration.

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board said he failed to offer a ‘course correction’ to a year plagued by soaring inflation, foreign policy crises and record low approval in the polls.  

And the Washington Post, though friendlier to Biden, could not deny the aggressive stance he took against Republicans on the subject of voting rights and accusing them of holding up his agenda.

The Post’s coverage of Biden’s news conference opened acknowledging he ‘escalated his partisan rhetoric’ on Wednesday which ‘intensified a harsher tone that Biden has taken this year toward Republicans.’

However the majority of its piece was devoted to covering the issues Biden discussed rather than reflecting on the conference as a whole. 

Others are even claiming that Biden’s marathon grilling from reporters created even more work for government staff who are desperately trying to explain or contextualize the president’s remarks.

‘I’m already seeing in my text exchanged with people around the president — clean up on aisle State Department,’ CNN host Dana Bash said immediately after the press conference.

One moment that caused particular confusion in the United States and abroad was when the president was asked about the worsening situation between Russia and Ukraine. 

He said Russia would be ‘held accountable’ if it invades Ukraine, but added: ‘And it depends on what it does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and we end up having to fight about what to do and what to not do, et cetera.’

But if they actually do what they’re capable of doing with the forces amassed on the border, it is going to be a disaster for Russia.’

Allies and White House officials leapt to try and explain his remarks. 

But ‘it doesn’t matter’ what they say he meant, CNN’s Bash said, ‘because it is going to have to be cleaned up.’

Her CNN colleague Van Jones later said the president seemed ‘foggy and meandering.’ 

CNN’s Dana Bash said she’d been told by people reacting to the press conference that this would be a ‘cleanup’ for the State Department

A piece in The Hill written by an adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies underscored Bash’s point, claiming that Biden was ‘unlikely to reassure the government in Kyiv’ of the US’s support.

In a searing op-ed the WSJ Editorial Board claimed Biden had the opportunity to present a new course of action or outline a whole new set of priorities to re-set on a bumpy first year in office.

‘Instead Mr. Biden offered more of the same,’ they write.

The outlet criticized Biden for challenging perceptions of failure around his administration and at one point even compared him to former President Donald Trump and his baseless 2020 election fraud claims.

‘Most dispiriting is that Mr. Biden remains hostage to his fantasy narrative on voter suppression,’ they wrote. 

‘He even refused to say November’s elections will be legitimate, which is not unlike his predecessor, and he continues to say Republicans don’t want minorities to vote.’ 

The New York Post turned up the heat on the president even more, blasting the event as a ‘disaster.’

The outlet’s editorial board called out Biden’s sometimes meandering and ambiguous responses.

Biden’s press conference was criticized by multiple media outlets, while others commented on his harshly partisan tone

‘Even though he spent most of it clearly calling on reporters from a list of “safe” questioners provided by his staff, he stumbled and bumbled and all too often made no sense at all,’ the Post published. 

Fox News, however, published a more glowing review of the president’s remarks.

‘Americans saw in their commander-in-chief someone willing to speak earnestly and frankly with the American people, and his command performance Wednesday harkened back to an earlier Biden from the campaign trail: forceful, direct, self-deprecating and earnest,’ a Democratic campaign strategist wrote for the news network’s digital site.

Fox’s op-ed said Biden ‘demonstrated to the American people his firm grasp of both domestic and foreign policy issues.’

It made no mention of the president’s ‘minor incursion’ comment. 

Biden cleared the remark up on Thursday morning after much confusion, telling press that his message to Vladimir Putin was ‘any assembled Russian units move across the Ukrainian border, that is an invasion.’ 

He added that such an invasion would be met with a ‘severe and coordinated economic response.’ 

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