Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Karine Jean-Pierre Shuts Down Interview Over ‘Incredibly Offensive Question

HomePoliticsKarine Jean-Pierre Shuts Down Interview Over 'Incredibly Offensive Question

Karine Jean-Pierre was riding high, all set to tee up President Biden and Veep Kamala Harris’s swing through North Carolina to pimp their health care policies. But then a radio jock went rogue and popped the question that’s on everyone’s mind – does Joe have dementia?

The White House press sec was hot-lined into News 99.3 WBT Charlotte Tuesday for what should’ve been a breezy chat hyping up the Prez and V.P.’s upcoming visit to spotlight their efforts to double down on the Affordable Care Act. A total layup, right?

Not so fast. Host Mark Garrison got brass balls and asked point-blank: “Does the president have dementia?”

Jean-Pierre Was Not Having It You could practically hear KJP’s eyes roll through the radio waves. She was not having it with Garrison’s ageist allegation about the 80-year-old commander-in-chief.

“That’s an incredibly offensive question,” Jean-Pierre clapped back. “You are taking us down this rabbit hole…”

She then proceeded to run down Biden’s “historic” achievements and intense “focus” on hardworking Americans. But her defensive diatribe did little to directly address the elephant in the room – the President’s suspected cognitive impairments.

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Instead, Jean-Pierre pivoted to the admirable administration’s economics accomplishments, like reining in grocery price inflation left over from the previous administration. She also touted Biden’s stalwart response to Russia’s unconscionable invasion of Ukraine which roiled global energy markets.

Hung Up Mid-Interrogation But just as Garrison was teeing up another hardball query about Biden’s perceived mental lapses, something wild happened – Jean-Pierre abruptly ended the interview mid-interrogation!

“Thank you, I have to go,” she stated flatly before hanging up, leaving the radio hosts utterly gobsmacked.

“I was supposed to get more time with her, and the fact that all of a sudden she decided to just hang up the phone took me by surprise,” a visibly shook Garrison relayed afterwards.

His co-host even quipped that they’d nominate Garrison for a White House press corps credential given his brusque treatment from the presidential spokesperson.

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The Elephant’s Always There Let’s be real – the elephant of Biden’s advanced age and suspected cognitive decline is always looming large, no matter how much his aides and allies try to swat it away.

Sure, former White House press secretary Jen Psaki chalked up Biden’s gaffes and mental stumbles to the natural “oral communications” pitfalls of a frenetic presidency last year.

But the president’s lucidity remains an unavoidable optic that puts the White House on constant defensive mode, especially as Biden seemsDestinedFor another grueling re-election crusade in the coming months.

The GOP is already frothing at the mouth to portray the president as too old, too confused, too past his prime to handle a second term. Frankly, KJP could’ve leaned into the dementia query to get ahead of the narrative.

A Missed Opportunity Instead of hanging up, Jean-Pierre missed a prime opportunity to tackle the elephant head-on with specific examples undermining the cognitive decline suspicions. Showcasing Biden’s sharp wit and impressive recall on specific policy recollections could’ve gone a long way.

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Perhaps recounting his deft handling of high-stakes classified briefings or spontaneous quizzing on legislative minutiae. Details that pierce the veil of “Sleepy Joe” allegations once and for all.

But the press sec bailed on defending her boss’s mental fitness when the gloves came off. That lack of transparency will likely only inflame more speculation around the issue as Biden’s re-election announcement looms.

At the very least, Jean-Pierre could’ve acknowledged Americans’ genuine concerns about having an octogenarian in the Oval Office making weighty decisions. Setting up clear cognitive benchmarks for the President could’ve helped reassure voters.

Alas, she kicked the can further down Pennsylvania Avenue with her terse non-answer and subsequent dial-drop. The dementia whispers will only grow louder heading into 2024.

Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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