Biden mocks Trump as 'horrible plague' before Covid in joke at WH correspondents' dinner
President Joe Biden began his remarks at the White House Correspondents Association's annual dinner on Saturday, April 30, with a few jabs at his predecessor, who boycotted the event for the first three years of his presidency before the 2020 edition was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Biden noted that he was the first top executive to attend the event, a charity benefit that supports journalism scholarships, since then-President Barack Obama did so in 2016, and that it was reasonable that no president had been in the years afterward. "We had a horrible plague followed by two years of Covid," Biden stated.
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Biden encouraged participants to imagine if Trump had been persuaded to attend this year's event, referring to his appearance at the 2011 edition of the event, when Trump was memorably criticized by Obama. "Now that would have been a real coup if that occurred," he remarked, mocking Trump's bid to reclaim the 2020 election he lost to Biden.
Biden stated that American democracy is not a "reality show" in another apparent blow at his predecessor's TV connections. Biden also spent a good chunk of his speech making fun of himself, joking that he "had just been elected to the Senate" the first time a US president attended the annual dinner in 1924, Calvin Coolidge (Biden was elected to the Senate in 1972). The president also poked fun at Fox News for airing anti-vaccine messages, saying that everyone in the room had to be vaccinated and boosted.
He also did not spare himself when it came to approval ratings either as he quipped "I'm really excited to be here tonight with the only group of Americans with a lower approval rating than I have," during his initial comments. The event's program was headlined by "Daily Show" host Trevor Noah
President Biden notes that he is the first president to attend White House Correspondents Dinner in six years— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) May 1, 2022
He says that the absence was understandable, because “we had a plague and then two years of COVID.” pic.twitter.com/emKchlO5o4
Biden said, "I know there are other questions about whether we should gather here tonight because of Covid. Well, we're here to show the country that we're getting through this pandemic. Plus, everyone had to prove they're fully vaccinated and boosted. So if you're at home watching this, and you're wondering how to do that, just contact her favorite Fox News reporter. They're all here. Vaccinated and boosted!"
On a more serious note, Biden praised the media's coverage of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. "We've all seen the courage of the Ukrainian people because of the courage of American reporters in this room, and your colleagues across the world who are on the ground, taking their lives in their own hands," he said and added, "You, the free press, matter more than you ever have in the past century."
Best of Joe Biden's White House Correspondents Dinner Speech pic.twitter.com/kwyJ9ge0xh— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) May 1, 2022