Biden Cracks Wise When Reporter Warns Not To Expect ‘Softball Questions’ By Calling On All Women at World Presser


President Joe Biden cracked wise when a reporter joked he should not expect “softball questions” just because he was calling only on women at an international press conference.

The president held a press conference in Hanoi to cap off his trip to the G20 summit in New Delhi, India and his diplomatic meetings with General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng in Vietnam.

Biden took questions from a list of pre-selected reporters, as is customary. But a pattern emerged that VOA correspondent Anita Powell noticed and remarked on, drawing a self-effacing quip from the president:

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Staff, anybody haven’t spoken.. (inaudible) Now I ain’t calling on you, I’m calling on, I told you, like five questions. Anita, VOA.

ANITA POWELL: Thank you, Mr. President. I hope you didn’t think that calling only on women would get you softballs tonight.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I know better than that.

ANITA POWELL: Okay, well, let me start with…

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: If you sent me a softball I wouldn’t know what to do with it, I’d probably strike out even worse!

ANITA POWELL: But let me ask you about you’ve spent lots of time talking about all the time you spent with President Xi and the importance of leader to leader communication. Yet you two haven’t spoken in ten months. And I just wonder, are you worried that this is destabilizing the US-China relationship and what are you going to do about it? And then, if I may, on Ukraine, sir, he is upset that the G20 communique didn’t named Russia as the aggressor. Have you managed to rally more support or sympathy across the G20, or is this emerging as a wedge issue with the global South? And does that change your commitment to Ukraine?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: It’s not a wedge issue in the global south it’s a wedge issue with Russia’s president and with China which is present, which has representation. And so and by the way, I am, my team. My staff still meets with President Xi’s people in his cabinet. In fact, I met with his number two person here in excuse me, in India today. So it’s not like there’s a crisis if I don’t personally speak to him, be better if I did. But I think, look, this is not a criticism. It’s an observation. He has his hands full right now. He has overwhelming unemployment with his youth. One of the major economic tenets of his plan is not working at all right now. I’m not happy for that, but it’s not working. So he’s trying to figure out, I suspect, I don’t know, just like I would try to figure out what to do about the particular crisis we’re having now. But I don’t think it’s a crisis relating the conflict between China and the United States. As a matter of fact, I think it’s less likely to cause that kind of conflict. I don’t. Anyway, I just think that there are other things on leaders minds, and I respond to what’s needed the time.

Watch above via CNN.

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