Biden Whines to Reporters: ‘You Never Ask a Positive Question’

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Following a rather contentious formal press conference with reporters in Geneva, President Biden again engaged with the media just before boarding Air Force One and bitterly complained that they weren’t being supportive enough of his foreign policy agenda. The exchange came shortly after Biden’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin that seemed to accomplish little, if anything.

While the President took a few additional questions from reporters on the airport tarmac before heading back to Washington after his European trip, New York Times White House correspondent Michael Shear pressed him on a heated back and forth he had with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins earlier:

Mr. President, Kaitlan’s question that you answered at the very end there, that you came over to talk about. I think at the heart of it was this question of whether or not you seem overly optimistic given what we all listened to, President Putin essentially say the same old things that he said forever, you know, rejecting all responsibility for all that stuff. And I guess the question that she was trying to get to, and maybe you can take another stab at it, is what concrete evidence do you have from these three-plus hours that suggests that any movement has been made?     

Given Biden’s previous harsh reaction to Collins, Shear felt compelled to add: “And I don’t mean that to be a – it’s not meant to be a gotcha question.”

The Democratic President actually whined that supportive liberal journalists were too “negative” and didn’t ask him any “positive” questions: “…look, to be a good reporter, you’ve got to be negative. You gotta have a negative view of life, okay, it seems to me. The way you all – you never ask a positive question.”

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Biden proceeded to rant that the media was supposedly against him at every turn:

But what do you – the thing that always amazes me about the questions, and I apologize for having been short. If you were in my position, would you say, “Well, I don’t think, man, anything is going to happen, it’s going to be really rough. I think it’s going to really be bad”….There’s a value to being realistic and put on an optimistic front, an optimistic face. Look, you all said the same thing about the – you know, what was going to happen when we had the first meeting of the [G]7, “Oh, Biden, they’re not going to buy Biden’s stuff”….When I went to meet with NATO, “Oh, boy, they’re not going to be happy, they’re all going to be against Biden meeting with Putin, they’re not going to want that”….And the same way when I met with the EU, “He’s not going to like the way Biden is operating.”

According to Biden, the leftist media are not sycophantic enough for his liking.

Here is a transcript of the June 16 exchange as it aired on MSNBC:

2:24 PM ET

(…)

MICHAEL SHEAR [NEW YORK TIMES]: Mr. President, Kaitlan’s [Collins] question that you answered at the very end there, that you came over to talk about. I think at the heart of it was this question of whether or not you seem overly optimistic given what we all listened to, President Putin essentially say the same old things that he said forever, you know, rejecting all responsibility for all that stuff. And I guess the question that she was trying to get to, and maybe you can take another stab at it, is what concrete evidence do you have from these three-plus hours that suggests that any movement has been made? And I don’t mean that to be a – it’s not meant to be a gotcha question.

JOE BIDEN: I know, but you’re all – look, to be a good reporter, you’ve got to be negative. You gotta have a negative view of life, okay, it seems to me. The way you all – you never ask a positive question. Why, in fact, having agreement – we’ll find out. We have an agreement to work on a major arms control agreement. I started working on arms control agreements back all the way during the Cold War. If we can do one in the Cold War, why couldn’t we do one now? We’ll see. We will see whether or not it happens.

But what do you – the thing that always amazes me about the questions, and I apologize for having been short. If you were in my position, would you say, “Well, I don’t think, man, anything is going to happen, it’s going to be really rough. I think it’s going to really be bad.” You guarantee nothing happens. You guarantee nothing happens. So far –

SHEAR: So there’s a value to –

BIDEN: There’s a value to being realistic and put on an optimistic front, an optimistic face. Look, you all said the same thing about the – you know, what was going to happen when we had the first meeting of the [G]7, “Oh, Biden, they’re not going to buy Biden’s stuff. They’re not really – ” Any of you find that? Did that happen, any of it? A little bit. Just a little sliver of it? When I went to meet with NATO, “Oh, boy, they’re not going to be happy, they’re all going to be against Biden meeting with Putin, they’re not going to want that.” Did you hear a single, solitary syllable? And what would have happened if I had said, before I went into those negotiations, “You know, I think it’s going to be really hard, I think it’s going to be really difficult. I’m not so optimistic about it, I don’t see anybody really changing.” And the same way when I met with the EU, “He’s not going to like the way Biden is operating.”

FRANCO ORDONEZ [NPR]: But this is Vladimir Putin, I mean, can you be optimistic about his –  

BIDEN: Sure it’s Vladimir Putin, but look, it was also – I don’t compare him to Putin, but it was the French president said he would never go for more money for NATO. Guess what? He’s agreed. I mean, look, guys, I’m going to drive you all crazy because I know you want me to always put a negative thrust on things, particularly in public, and negotiate in public. I don’t have to trust somebody. We didn’t have to trust somebody to get START 2.

(…)

BIDEN: I don’t see any benefit ever to begin a negotiation – and I mean, you’re the brightest people in the country, you’re the most important people in my detail. I’m not being solicitous, you are. But it makes no sense for me to negotiate with you, it makes no sense for me to tell you what I’m about to do, not because I want to hide anything from you. Why would I telegraph that?

(…)

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