It’d be hard to call it a hot mic moment since the microphone was right in front of President Joe Biden’s face when he responded to an inane question from Fox News’ Peter Doocy on Monday. When the network’s White House correspondent asked if the president thinks “inflation is a political liability in the midterms” as a press conference wrapped up, Biden responded with a level of candor he probably should have reserved for the Oval Office:
It’s unclear if Biden thought the microphone was off or if he was just frustrated with another leading question from Doocy, who asked last week why the president was “trying so hard” to shift the country “so far to the left.” The son of Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy, Peter Doocy has also asked frequently about the dealings of Hunter Biden, the president’s own beneficiary of nepotism.
Doocy, who played the moment well on Fox News, received a call Monday night from the president. “He cleared the air. And I appreciated it. We had a nice call,” Doocy said on Fox. “He said it’s nothing personal, pal. And I told him that I appreciated him reaching out. Hey, Sean, the world is on the brink of like World War III right now with all the stuff going on. I appreciate that the president took a couple minutes out this evening … to give me a call and clear the air. But I don’t need anybody to apologize to me. He can call me whatever he wants as long as it gets him talking.”
Either way, it’s a reminder that members of the executive branch swear — as then-VP Biden showed himself in 2010 when he told President Barack Obama while signing the Affordable Care Act that it was a “big fucking deal.” Or as President George W. Bush showed us when he called New York Times reporter Adam Clymer a “major-league asshole” on the campaign trail in 2000. Or as Donald J. Trump and Lyndon B. Johnson showed us all the damn time.
This post was updated to include Biden’s call to Doocy.