Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden appeared to be relying on a teleprompter in what was presented as a live Q&A event hosted by the AFL-CIO on Labor Day.
At one point partway through the event, a participant asked Biden what he would do to help more people join labor unions if he were elected president.
The camera cut to Biden, who was looking to the side and told his staff, “Move it up here.”
There was a long, awkward pause, and then he finally answered with pablum, apparently crafted for him ahead of time.
“You know, there used to be a basic bargain in this country: Workers shared in the wealth their work helped create,” the former vice president said.
That’s called a paycheck. Please continue, candidate Biden.
“But that bargain’s broken. CEOs are more beholden to shareholders than workers,” he said. “Instead of boosting wages, they’re increasing stock buybacks.”
If that is true, why were wages increasing faster under President Donald Trump than they had in years, with those at the lowest end of the economic spectrum seeing the highest percentage gains, according to CBS News?
Biden went on to rattle off statistics and other facts, as he seemed to read his answer being scrolled slightly above the camera lens.
Last week, the former longtime Delaware senator demonstrated why his handlers want him speaking from a script when he took part at an event in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with no teleprompter present.
Biden actually joked during the event — which was centered around the police shooting of Jacob Blake — that the host of the town hall would shoot him if he didn’t wrap up his remarks.
The Democrat was making a pitch for his economic plans to sock it to the rich and corporations to pay for his plans to massively expand the federal government while claiming the Trump tax cuts “did nothing to help anybody.”
“I don’t want to punish everybody, but everybody should pay a fair share,” Biden said.
“I can lay it out for you — I won’t now, because he’ll shoot me,” he said.
Joe Biden appeared to joke on Thursday that if he spoke any longer about his plan to increase taxes on the wealthy “he’ll shoot me,” as he addressed a group of Kenosha, Wisconsin, residents following the police shooting of Jacob Blake https://t.co/mfyED6lwFw pic.twitter.com/hVOcBLqtLN
— POLITICO (@politico) September 3, 2020
By the way, Biden spouted off mischaracterizations and half-truths just in those brief remarks.
The Tax Foundation determined in 2018, after the tax cuts signed into law by Trump were implemented, that taxes paid by the top 1 percent accounted for 37 percent of federal income tax revenues. The top 25 percent paid over 85 percent.
Meanwhile, thanks in part to the expanded standard deduction and tax credits for children, the bottom 50 percent of earners accounted for just 3 percent of federal income tax revenues.
It sure looks like the wealthy are paying their fair share.
The 77-year-old Biden will be called upon in the upcoming presidential debates to make his case on this and other issues without a teleprompter, and it’s going to be interesting.
What does this mean?
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) August 31, 2020
To the extent the former vice president has taken any questions from the media, it has largely been on friendly outlets, with very limited time and scope.
Biden has repeatedly declined to sit down with “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, even after Trump did so.
Wallace has now been tapped to host the first presidential debate, and there can be little doubt the veteran journalist will put the candidate through his paces.
No accommodations should be made that would prevent Biden from being on site to debate the president.
Americans deserve to see both candidates having to rely on their own faculties before deciding who should hold the highest office in the land.
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