News & Politics

After Biden Takes Questions, It's Easy to See Why Jen Psaki Said She Doesn't Recommend It

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Joe Biden took to the podium on Thursday. A conflict between Israel and Hamas rages, and the southeast is entirely out of gasoline, but he again wanted to tell Americans to get vaccinated for COVID-19. The highest inflation since 2008 and a terrible jobs report have also hit the news. And we still have an endless flow of illegal immigrants over the border. But Biden wants to talk about vaccines. It’s no wonder Press Secretary Jen Psaki tells the president, “Don’t take questions.”

After 100 days, the pandemic was the only thing a majority of Americans approved of him handling, so maybe his handlers think that this plays to his lone strength. As far as large swaths of the country are concerned, the pandemic is waning. People who wanted vaccines have gotten them, and some folks are just going to wait and see. The continual browbeating of people who do their own research and don’t trust Dr. Anthony Fauci as far as they could throw him is a waste of time.

So, Biden did his typical spiel, using moral shaming to get a vaccine and talking about the current rates. The administration keeps using a carrot-and-stick method to talk about all the cool things you can do once you get the shot. The southeastern U.S. watches this and just shakes its head. Apparently, the press corps is getting a little bored, too. As Biden shut his binder, they started shouting questions about the actual news.

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The first reporter got Biden’s attention and asked what he would tell Americans about the rising price of gas and overall inflation. Biden said the administration had been in close contact with Colonial Pipeline, and the country could expect some good news in the next 24 hours. It looks like the “good” news could be that Colonial paid the ransom so that we can be reasonably sure of another ransomware disaster. Great job to everyone.

All that does is increase the supply of gas. What effect it will have on prices remains to be seen.

Next, Biden talked about lifting the restriction on fuel transportation to ease the shortage. Then the press conference went completely sideways. To see the complete fatigue, stumbling, and groping for words, watch the video below:

I’d also point out that I think what this shows is that, I think we have to make a greater investment in education as it relates to being able to train and graduate more people proficient in cybersecurity. And I’ve been saying for a long, long time, now I know I probably, you probably could say it for me.

I think that one of the most important things we have to do to reclaim our place as a leading innovator in the world is to have a better-educated workforce. And that goes back to the days a long time ago now, over five years ago when I was vice president, and I surveyed all the Fortune 500 companies and said what do you most need? Remember what they said, a better-educated workforce. But they’re not spending money to educate the workforce.

But it’s important that we do this, and the cybersecurity piece is one you’re going to see where I think we need a significantly larger number of experts in the area of cybersecurity working for private companies as well as private companies being willing to share data as to how they’re protecting themselves.

There is so much wrong here. The president of the United States just basically told our enemies that our cybersecurity infrastructure is not up to speed and that our workforce is lacking. Instead of saying we needed to maintain our leadership role in innovation, he said we need to reclaim it. When did we lose it? China steals our tech, Germany reengineers our tech to the high-end price point, and Israel turns out some fantastic stuff on their own.

Israel has a car that runs on air and water with a battery that requires no rare-earth metals from China. One has to wonder why we aren’t working with them to commercialize that. Maybe because it was presented to President Obama. However, if we want to innovate, we might pick better partners who don’t steal our stuff.

Next, if you want to educate for the future, you ask tech start-ups and young IPOs. The Fortune 500 regularly and routinely invests in workforce development with tuition reimbursement, apprenticeships, and skills training programs. It’s bizarre that Biden took a question about rising prices and turned it into an excuse to spend more taxpayer dollars and to badmouth America’s innovation status in the world, a statement that arguably exacerbates national security threats.

If he is serious about creating a better-educated workforce, he should stop funding humanities and grievance degrees with student loans and end the indoctrination. As I wrote on Wednesday, students and researchers at MIT found it problematic that an anti-mask network on social media believes that science is a process rather than an institution. That is the real problem.

The next question was about the crisis in the Middle East. While Biden said he hoped the situation would deescalate, he also started a war with his left flank in the Democrat Party by saying, “Israel has a right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory.” Hamas apologist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of “the Squad” dutifully lost their minds. As Biden attempted to walk off stage, reporters continued to shout questions. When he returned to the podium, he said:

You guys are bad. I am not supposed to be answering all these questions. I’m supposed to leave, but I can’t resist your questions.

Maybe now we know why Kamala Harris stands right off to the side during most of his statements. She wasn’t there to grab him by the arm. Biden answered questions on his bipartisan meetings with Congressional leaders and couldn’t come up with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s name after more than a beat. Even more astonishing, he seemed to admit that his “everything I like is infrastructure package” would impact working and middle-class families financially and had no idea how any of it was going to get paid for.

Somewhere, Press Secretary Jen Psaki must have been sobbing. No wonder she has said she would hang it up after a year. You almost have to wonder if she is marking the calendar already.

WATCH the full Q&A