Joe Biden slams reporter asking him about reopening schools: 'Why are you the only guy who shouts questions'?
The president-elect lost his cool on yet another occasion and lashed out at CBS News journalist Bo Ericson who got backing from his fraternity for asking the question
President-elect Joe Biden got annoyed with a reporter on Friday, November 20, after the latter asked him about his plan to open schools during the Covid-19 pandemic that has claimed more than 254,000 lives in the US alone. The veteran leader, who turned 78 the same day, saw himself in a tense exchange with the reporter just while wrapping up a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in Wilmington, Delaware. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was also present.
CBS News reporter Bo Ericson asked Biden whether he planned to lean on teachers’ unions to get kids back to school during the pandemic even after an aide of the former vice president told the reporters who assembled on the occasion to depart as the photo-op concluded. “Mr. Biden, the Covid task force said it’s safe for children to be back in class,” Ericson asked him. To that, the president-elect got personal to say: “Why are you the only guy that always shouts out questions?” He refused to answer the question. Teachers’ unions have been opposed to the idea of starting full-fledged instruction with physical presence because of the pandemic.
It was only a day before that Biden was seen getting irked in another press conference, also held in Delaware. On that occasion, he was asked whether he was going to shut down the country to deal with the pandemic. The Democrat, while ruling out a lockdown, expressed his displeasure to say “everybody asks that question every single time”.
The reporter also tweeted a video about the incident and the response from the social-media users was mixed. He, however, got the backing of many journalists like Washington Examiner’s Jerry Dunleavy and ABC News’s Will Steakin.
Asked Biden if he will encourage teacher unions to cooperate to get kids back in school because the COVID task force said it is safe to be in the classroom. He didn't answer.— Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) November 20, 2020
“Why are you the only guy that always shouts out questions?” he said. pic.twitter.com/x2DsG5Fmgo
It's a great question that deserves an answer from Biden. https://t.co/3L1JZVna70— JERRY DUNLEAVY (@JerryDunleavy) November 20, 2020
Good for Bo, also the idea that this was a “shouted” question is hilarious https://t.co/gz9dgNPC0f— Will Steakin (@wsteaks) November 20, 2020
Paula Reid, Erickson’s CBS News colleague and a White House correspondent, also tweeted, asking: "President-Elect Biden asks a good question - why is @BoKnowsNews the only one in the Biden pool tossing questions? Schools, vaccines, stimulus - so many important q’s for both @SpeakerPelosi & @JoeBiden."
President-Elect Biden asks a good question - why is @BoKnowsNews the only one in the Biden pool tossing questions? Schools, vaccines, stimulus - so many important q’s for both @SpeakerPelosi & @JoeBiden. https://t.co/RfrS1FaNPJ— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) November 20, 2020
Biden also lost his cool with Ericson over a question on Hunter
The latest incident is the second one in a little more than a month. Biden also lost his cool in response to a question from Ericson, who has been covering the Democrat and his presidential campaign. Last month, he faced Biden’s flak after asking him about his son Hunter’s controversial foreign dealings. Biden, on that occasion, replied saying he had “no response” and slammed the reporter.
Ericson asked Biden the question as the latter boarded his private plane after a campaign stop in Michigan, a couple of days after the New York Post broke a bombshell story on Hunter.
“Mr. Biden, what is your response to the New York Post story about your son, sir?” Ericson asked and to that, Biden replied in a heated tone: “I know you'd ask it. I have no response, it's another smear campaign, right up your alley, those are the questions you always ask.”
The Post story claimed that Hunter helped in arranging a meeting between his father and an executive at Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company where he once worked, in April 2015 (Biden was then the vice president). The story contained hacked materials and personal email addresses and Twitter added fuel to the controversy by stopping people from posting links to the article. It backtracked later but not before the critics of the Bidens, including President Donald Trump, launched scathing attacks on them.
Biden has also been found losing his cool on a number of occasions during the campaign phase. He confronted general voters at assemblies and get-togethers and even ended up calling a veteran voter a "damn liar" on one occasion.