Biden Got Nowhere With Vladimir Putin
But the American president did take time to bully a reporter for asking a decent question.
“Where the hell … what do you do all the time?”
That was Joe Biden’s bizarre response to a decent question about Russian President Vladimir Putin from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, who asked him as he walked away from his post-summit press conference, “Why are you so confident he’ll change his behavior, Mr. President?”
After berating Collins from afar, Biden approached her and wagged his finger. Collins then calmly elaborated, noting that Putin had denied his country’s clear involvement in recent cyberattacks against U.S. companies, downplayed Russia’s human rights abuses, and refused to even mention the name of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny. “So,” Collins asked, “how does that account to a constructive meeting?”
To which Biden sneered before walking away, “If you don’t understand that, you’re in the wrong business.”
That didn’t sit too well with Collins’s colleagues, one of whom, New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi, quipped, “If you’re the most powerful person in the world and you can’t field questions from the media without losing your temper, maybe you’re in the wrong business.”
We agree. It was a sorry scene for a man who, when he’s not getting deferential coverage from the media, is cowering from it altogether. Now we know why: He can’t answer tough questions, and he can’t control his temper. Indeed, as the Washington Examiner’s Jerry Dunleavy noted, “Biden flips out almost every time he is asked an even vaguely pointed question — true during the campaign and true as president.”
Biden opened his post-summit presser with some introductory remarks, during which he tried to talk about the God-given rights of the American people. But he blew it: “We don’t derive our rights from the government,” he correctly began. “We possess them because we’re born. Period. And we yield them to a government.”
Huh? We “yield” our rights “to a government”? What’s the purpose of a written constitution or a bill of rights if the people whose rights they purport to protect must ultimately surrender them to their government?
Sadly, the president needs a civics lesson.
“Another area we spent a great deal of time on was cyber and cybersecurity,” Biden continued. “I talked about the proposition that certain critical infrastructure should be off-limits to attack. Period. By cyber or any other means. I gave them a list, if I’m not mistaken — I don’t have it in front of me — 16 specific entities; 16 defined as critical infrastructure under U.S. policy, from the energy sector to our water systems.”
Ooooh. He gave them a list. Of 16. Here again, the president needs a lesson — this time in national sovereignty.
What about all the other entities? Open season on them? Conservative commentator Noah Pollak called it “one of the most pathetic moments in American diplomatic history.”
National Review’s David Harsanyi one-upped him: “Biggest loser today: the 17th most critical infrastructure entity in America.”
Finally, mercifully, at the conclusion of his opening remarks, Biden let the assembled media know it was a rigged game: “I’ll take your questions and, as usual, folks, they gave me a list of the people I’m gonna call on.”
“As usual, folks,” our intrepid president only takes questions from those his handlers have pre-approved.
Biden then fielded questions for a brief 22 minutes before skedaddling, but his Russian counterpart seemed disinclined to run from the media. As Fox News media critic Joe Concha put it, “Putin presser approaching one hour with no signs of stopping. This is what Putin sees as show of confidence and endurance in what appears to be an effort to make Biden look weak/small when he ends up taking relatively few questions from handpicked reporters before exiting.”
A strong case can be made that Joe Biden lost his showdown with Vladimir Putin before it even began. How? By showing his willingness to appease the Russians beforehand.
Rebekah Koffler, former Defense Intelligence Agency Russia analyst and author of a forthcoming book on Putin, told Fox News that Biden extending the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty II (START II) and eliminating Nord Stream 2 [pipeline] sanctions before the summit left him without anything to negotiate on. “I think our president is in the losing position and Putin is in the winning position, and that was even before the summit,” she said. Biden “pretty much has given out the store to the Russians,” she explained, so “he had no negotiating leverage.”
Indeed, Biden has already helped enable Putin’s geopolitical power grab by removing those pipeline sanctions, which will make Germany and other Western European nations dependent on Russian natural gas and thereby vulnerable to Russian coercion. Biden, of course, canceled our nation’s own energy pipeline, Keystone XL, eliminating 1,000 union jobs and wrecking countless lives and businesses in the process. And his Nord Stream about-face came just two weeks after a Russian criminal cyber gang disrupted America’s energy supply with a ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline.
If you’re thinking, Whiskey Tango, Joe, you’re not alone.
On the tarmac just before boarding Air Force One, Biden briefly apologized to CNN’s Collins and tried to put a rosy spin on his European trip, but that’s only because his handlers told him to. And he tried to talk a good globalist game, once again deriding Donald Trump’s “America First” approach and reminding our allies about how “America is back.”
But are we really back? Nope. Not if one considers this week’s pathetic performance by the American president.
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