White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre brought a President Joe Biden press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, to an abrupt close.
Even as President Biden was addressing questions from reporters in the room, CNN reported on Sunday, September 10, that Jean-Pierre took to the microphone and declared, “Thank you everybody – this ends the press conference.”
The President lingered briefly on stage, responding to one final query, although his full response went unheard due to the press secretary’s announcement.
President Biden had initially committed to taking questions from five reporters during this press conference, and he did so before adding, “I tell you what, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to bed.”
The White House had previously stated that Biden would field questions from five journalists. However, he remained on stage and continued to engage with inquiries, including those related to his conversation with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, before being interrupted by the press secretary.
Throughout the press conference, President Biden acknowledged the challenges of his whirlwind international trip, even humorously remarking, “These five-day trips around the world are no problem.”
Just moments before Jean-Pierre’s decision to end the press conference, President Biden delivered a lengthy response, in which he provided a somewhat meandering explanation for his use of the phrase “lying dog-faced pony soldier” when discussing politicians who deny climate change.
This incident unfolded in the wake of a CNN poll indicating that approximately three-quarters of Americans harbor concerns about President Biden’s age potentially affecting his current level of physical and mental competence, as well as his ability to serve another full term if reelected.
While critics have raised questions about Biden’s age, his defenders have consistently downplayed these concerns.
The White House has often highlighted the President’s energy levels during demanding international trips, using them as evidence that his age is not a limiting factor in his performance.
Karine Jean-Pierre herself had previously emphasized President Biden’s unique ability to handle the responsibilities of the presidency, asserting that “no other president has been able to do” the job quite like him.
She pointed out that Biden’s finger remains on the pulse of what matters to the American people, and he effectively addresses critical issues, making him a strong leader for the nation.
As this unexpected ending to the press conference garnered attention, it fueled discussions about Biden’s age and his capacity to meet the demands of the presidency.
The incident highlighted the broader debates surrounding his fitness for office and how these issues might factor into the public’s perception of his leadership.