WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a White House press event on Monday, Joe Biden was caught on a hot mic insulting a Fox News reporter who had just shouted out a question at the President. The gaffe occurred at the end of the White House’s Competition Council meeting, when Fox correspondent Peter Doocy bellowed out a question to Biden as the reporters were being ushered out of the room.
“Do you think inflation is a political liability in the midterms?” Doocy asked the President, who wasn’t taking any questions.
Biden appeared to be ticked off at the query and muttered to himself, apparently unaware that his microphone was still on.
“No, it’s a great asset,” Mr. Biden said sarcastically. “More inflation. What a stupid son of a bitch.”
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Doocy would later say that he hadn’t heard Biden’s response over the shouting of the White House’s press wranglers, and that other reporters had told him about it afterwards.
Appearing on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program that evening, Doocy noted that Biden had called him on his cell phone about an hour after the incident to discuss the exchange.
“He said ‘It’s nothing personal, pal,’” Doocy said. “And we went back and forth, and we were talking about just kind of moving forward, and I made sure to tell him that I’m always gonna try to ask something different than what everybody else is asking. And he said, ‘You got to.’ And that’s a quote from the president, so I’ll keep doing it.”
When Hannity noted that Biden appeared to have stopped short of offering an actual apology for his insult, Doocy said that he felt one wasn’t really required under the circumstances, since anything that gets the notoriously press-shy President to actually speak to reporters is worth it.
“He cleared the air, and I appreciate it. I don’t need anybody to apologize to me,” Doocy said. “He can call me whatever he wants as long as it gets him talking! I think that’s enough. That’s enough. So we can move on. We can now move forward. There will be years…three to seven years of opportunities to ask him about different stuff.”