The White House tried to excuse another teleprompter gaffe from President Joe Biden on Friday. Instead, the excuse only drew more attention to the embarrassing moment.
Speaking at the White House about a new executive order on abortion, Biden repeatedly lied about the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
For example, Biden claimed the decision "was not a decision driven by history," that justices were "playing fast and loose with the fact," that the decision "wasn’t about the Constitution or the law," and that the decision to overturn Roe "was an exercise in raw political power."
Biden then read a quote from the majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization in which the majority noted the American electorate is comprised of a majority of women.
After reading the quote, Biden said "repeat the line," a cue apparently on the teleprompter from which he was reading. Video of the speech even shows Biden leaning into the camera to seemingly get a clearer view of the teleprompter.
Throughout his speech, Biden also said "end of quote" — three times, in fact — after he recited a quote. "End of quote" is a normal cue that appears on teleprompters to inform whoever is reading that the quote is over.
How did the White House respond?
Despite clear video evidence, White House assistant press secretary Emilie Simons claimed that Biden did not read the teleprompter cue but rather was exhorting himself to repeat the line.
"No. He said, 'let me repeat that line,'" Simons said.
Surprisingly, the White House official transcript of Biden's remarks shows what Simons claimed. But again, the video shows Biden clearly reading teleprompter cues, saying, "End of quote. Repeat the line," before starting to repeat the quote.
People, however, were not buying what Simons was trying to sell.
- "It would be something that people would forget about by the end of the day, but when you brazenly lie about it, that keeps it around longer," Washington Examiner magazine editor Jay Caruso said.
- "Even if you suppose that is what he was supposed to have said, or what he meant to say, it is absolutely not what he actually said. The video is right there. He says, 'End of quote. Repeat the line,'" reporter Jerry Dunleavy pointed out.
- "You know there's video?" writer Charles C.W. Cooke asked.
- "[H]ow much acid did you do today," Caleb Hull mocked.
- "Adam Schiff's former comms director trying to convince us that something that didn't happen actually did is perfectly on brand," John Cooper of the Heritage Foundation reacted.
- "Hahahaha no he didn’t. You’re the assistant press secretary. You’re lying. Because it’s humiliating to work for a senile puppet," conservative commentator Liz Wheeler mocked.
- "This is what happens when state media refuses to hold a presidential administration accountable and instead functions as press secretaries for that administration and ruling party: LYING BOLDLY & WITH IMPUNITY They know DC journo-stenographers won't hold them accountable for it," Christina Pushaw, spokeswoman for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), said.
Ironically, Biden did not, in fact, repeat the line completely.