President Biden was caught on a hot mic calling Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy a “stupid son of a b—.”
“No, it’s a great asset — more inflation,” President Biden said. Audio from the White House feed had already been cut, but his mic was still live on C-Span. “What a stupid son of a b—.”
Hot Mic Followed Tense Presser
Biden’s harsh words came just after aides began wrapping up the second solo press conference of his first term, which was meant to showcase the White House’s response to pandemic-era inflation. Aides wrapped up the meeting when reporters began asking about Ukraine.
“The only reason I don’t like doing this is that you never report on why I called a meeting, and this is really important. I had a very, very, very good meeting — total unanimity with all the European leaders. We’ll talk about it later,” the president answered. “Thank you.”
As reporters were being led from the room when Doocy shouted his question.
“Do you think inflation is a political liability in the midterms?”
President Goes Viral
Biden’s remarks quickly overshadowed his economic policies to become the main news story from the press event. Still, the president’s supporters on social media rallied to his defense.
“Look…before we go down an endless cycle of pearl clutching and calls for civility, can we just be honest that everyone wins here?” wrote Obama White House alumnus and podcast host Tommy Vietor on Twitter.
“Biden gets to vent. Democrats get to laugh. Doocy gets endless amounts of air time playing the victim. No one apologize. Just laugh and move on,” he said.
Meanwhile, his Republican opponents in Congress said the harsh words were evidence of the president’s bias.
“Mr. President, your nasty remarks toward another member of the press corps are beneath the dignity of the office,” tweeted Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee.
“As president, you owe Peter Doocy and the American people not only answers on inflation, but an apology for your out-of-line comments,” she said.
Later on Fox News, after the president’s retort went viral, Doocy quipped that nobody has fact-checked him yet and said it’s not true.”
“Within about an hour of that exchange, he called my cell phone and he said, ‘It’s nothing personal, pal,’” he continued. “He cleared the air, and I appreciated it. We had a nice call.”
“He didn’t want to take any questions off-topic. He was at an event about inflation, and so I asked one on inflation,” Doocy said.
Not the First Hot Mic for President Biden
Biden’s hot mic moment was his second this week. On Thursday, reporter Jacqui Heinrich, also of Fox News, asked the president at the end of a briefing “why [he is] waiting on Putin to make the first move?”
“What a stupid question,” the president said as the press pool was herded away.
Most famously, in 2010, then-Vice President Biden joined President Barack Obama for the signing of the Affordable Care Act. After Biden had introduced the president, he was heard calling the bill’s passage a “big f—kin’ deal.”