Does Joe Biden Always Use a Teleprompter?

His press secretary can't answer a simple question with profound implications.

Douglas Andrews · Sep. 11, 2020

TJ Ducklo drew the short straw yesterday. As Joe Biden’s national press secretary, Ducklo typically fields softballs from the ardently pro-Biden mainstream media. Yesterday, however, he had to take a couple of questions from a legitimate journalist. It was a tall order, and Ducklo was clearly ill-prepared.

That journalist was Fox News’s Bret Baier, and the question that left the biggest mark was this: “Has Joe Biden ever used a teleprompter during local interviews or to answer Q&A with supporters?”

That simple question, it seems, calls for a simple answer: yes or no. But Ducklo couldn’t supply it. Rather than addressing the substance of the question, Ducklo denounced what he said was its source.

“We are not going to — this is straight from the Trump campaign talking points, and what it does, Bret, is it’s trying to distract the American people from—,” Ducklo sputtered, before Baier interrupted to press for a simple yes-or-no answer. “They talk about it every day, Bret, because they don’t have a coherent strategy. They talk about it every day because they don’t have a coherent argument for why Donald Trump deserves reelection, deserves four more years.”

“I understand,” said Baier, “but you can’t answer the question.”

To which Ducklo responded, “I am not gonna allow the Trump campaign to funnel their questions through Fox News and get me to respond to that.”

Translation: The answer is “Yes,” so I need to attack the messenger.

Does Joe Biden rely on a teleprompter to get through even the simplest of remote TV interviews and Q&A sessions? You tell us.

The entire seven-minute Fox News interview is worth watching, but if you’re pressed for time, that above exchange begins at the 6:20 mark. You might also check out the back-and-forth at the 2:45 mark, in which Baier presses Ducklo for what would seem to be another simple answer: whether Joe Biden was in favor of closing down travel from China when President Trump instituted his travel restrictions on January 31.

The answer is clearly “No,” since Biden, the very next day, tweeted, “We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering.”

What might “hysteria” and “xenophobia” be referring to if not the China travel ban? At that time, Biden also said, “Disease has no borders.” Only on April 3 did he finally endorse the ban — more than two months after Trump instituted it.

Still, Ducklo couldn’t give us a straight answer. “Joe Biden has been clear, and I can send you the fact-checks if they’re helpful, Bret,” he said, unhelpfully. “Joe Biden has been clear about this.”

The election is less than two months away, and Joe Biden’s handlers are desperately trying to drag him across the finish line. Even his former White House stenographer says Biden is “a shell of his former self.” Thus, the candidate’s odd and excessive use of teleprompters to answer even the most basic questions gets right to the ultimate question: Is Joe Biden fit for the Oval Office?

(PS: Here are the questions the MSM should ask Biden…without the benefit of his teleprompter.)

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