The White House on Monday blocked President Joe Biden from speaking with reporters about a signature effort his administration his putting forward.
The Biden administration is kicking off a publicity push to announce the child tax credit they included in the massive coronavirus spending package.
Families will begin receiving monthly payments in their bank accounts of $250 or more per child beginning in July, a massive entitlement program that comes as part of Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue plan.
Biden was not allowed to be at the messaging strategy meetings, nor speak publicly to the press on the day the administration planned to reveal the tax credit.
His daily schedule for Monday only featured a meeting with financial regulators at 1:45 pm. The event was closed to the press.
Instead, the White House sent Vice President Kamala Harris to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to deliver a speech on the issue.
The White House released a 430-word statement “written” Biden on Monday afternoon to promote the tax credit. However, it’s clear that one of his press aides prepared the announcement as it reads exactly like on his carefully constructed speeches.
On Monday morning, White House press secretary Jen Psaki appeared on TV to announce the tax credit.
“We're making this Child Tax Credit Awareness Day because there are millions of people who are eligible around the country for this [tax relief], and they may not know they're eligible. They can go to https://t.co/xGpsPEhO8d and sign up.” – @PressSec on @CBSThisMorning pic.twitter.com/lbXSllYLpQ
— marielsaez46 (@marielsaez46) June 21, 2021
Press staff also sent messaging promoting the program on social media, using the president’s account to share pre-approved statements.
White House staff sidelining Biden comes after a series of blunders the president made in front of the press.
Last week Biden careened off topic from COVID vaccines when a reporter asked for his reaction to the Catholic Church’s decision on denying communion to pro-abortion political figures.
Here’s his response:
WATCH: President Joe Biden was asked about the @USCCB decision to develop a teaching document on the Eucharist, which could prevent pro-abortion politicians from receiving communion. He responds, "That's a private matter, and I don't think that's going to happen."@EWTNNewsNightly pic.twitter.com/cn7zyu1aiJ
— Toby Capion (@TobyCapion) June 18, 2021
After a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Biden snapped at a reporter who dare ask a tough question about the summit.
Reporter: "Why are you so confident [Vladimir Putin] will change his behavior, Mr. President?"
Joe Biden: "I'm not confident he’s going to change his behavior. What the hell?! What do you do all the time? When did I say I was confident?" pic.twitter.com/c3n5jEzFYf
— Marinela Pavletich (@MarinelaPavleti) June 16, 2021
Biden later apologized to reporters for losing his temper but continued complaining about “negative” press while his aides begged him to board Air Force One.
“Sir, we need to go. Sir, we really have to go,” the handler said.
Last month Jen Psaki admitted in an interview with David Axelrod, her former boss, that she advises the president not to take questions from reporters. She reiterated her desire to shield Biden’s access from journalists, significantly reducing the transparency within the administration.
Thanks to @TheStoryFNC and @tracegallagher for reading my comments to @JosephWulfsohn (https://t.co/f12kYAqLYh) about Jen Psaki telling former colleague David Axelrod that WH staff encourages Biden not to take questions.
If a Trump spox did this, CNN would be losing their minds. pic.twitter.com/Zatyi2sPSr
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) May 7, 2021
Axelrod acknowledged Biden’s absentmindedness, and praised Psaki for “managing” him.
Biden frequently admits that he will likely “get in trouble” if he veers off a prepared list of reporters and questions given to him by his press team.
"This is the last question I'll take or I'm really going to be in trouble."@JoeBiden is the supposed leader of the free world, who is he worried he will get in trouble from? pic.twitter.com/SbHgfgfaVR
— MRCTV (@mrctv) April 27, 2021
Joe Biden: "As usual they gave me a list of people I'm going to call on" pic.twitter.com/PtWasBxg5D
— Chris Martin (@chrisjdmartin) June 16, 2021
Reporters have also noted the heightened efforts to control Biden’s press appearances.
Even the ultra-liberal, Fake, CNN noted on air the lack of transparency within the Biden administration.
“I have never seen a President, covering the last four of them, so protected by his aides,” a CNN pundit said.
CNN’s Jeff Zeleny: We haven’t seen Joe Biden answer questions “without his aides screaming at him to stop. I have never seen a President, covering the last 4 of them, so protected by his aides.”
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) June 16, 2021
Author: Asa McCue