Joe Biden often thinks he’s his own best messenger. Many people in his own White House don’t always agree.
When Biden gives public remarks, some White House staffers will either mute him or turn off his remarks. They’re filled with anxiety that he’s going to take questions from the press and veer off the West Wing’s carefully orchestrated messaging.
“I know people who habitually don’t watch it live for that reason,” said one current official.
Biden’s advisers have urged him to answer fewer of the questions being shouted at him by reporters covering his events. While the president sometimes obliges and quickly leaves the podium after remarks, he has a tendency to buck those staffers trying to rein him in. “I’m not supposed to take any questions, but go ahead,” he said after addressing FEMA.
Biden is well-aware of his reputation as a “gaffe machine.” On the campaign trail, he’d often make a self-deprecating quip: “No one ever doubts that I mean what I say. The problem is, I sometimes say all that I mean.” He has also suggested, however, that his loquaciousness earns him credit from voters who appreciate his authenticity.