During a joint press conference with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, President Joe Biden used a cheat sheet to call on reporters. The notecard held by Biden, 80, showed that he knew in advance the topics that the reporters were going to ask him about.
The first question on the card was to come from Los Angeles Times reporter Courtney Subramanian. The question on the card stated, “How are YOU squaring YOUR domestic priorities — like reshoring semiconductors manufacturing — with alliance-based foreign policy?”
When Biden called on her, Subramanian asked a slightly different question: “Your top economic priority has been to build U.S. domestic manufacturing in competition with China, but your rules against expanding chip manufacturing in China is hurting South Korean companies that rely heavily on Beijing. Are you damaging a key ally in the competition with China to help your domestic politics ahead of the election?”
While the question on the cheat sheet and the question that was eventually asked were not exactly the same, they were on the same topic: How is Biden balancing his domestic priorities regarding chip manufacturing while trying to work with U.S. allies?
Biden has faced criticism in the past for using cheat sheets to help him know who to call on and to help keep him on track during public events. Some have argued that this is evidence that he is not capable of handling the demands of the presidency.
However, others have defended his use of cheat sheets, pointing out that many politicians use them, and that they can be a useful tool for staying on message and ensuring that important topics are covered.
Regardless of whether one approves of his use of cheat sheets, it is clear that Biden is facing a difficult balancing act when it comes to chip manufacturing. On the one hand, he has made it a top economic priority to build up U.S. domestic manufacturing in competition with China. On the other hand, he must be careful not to damage key alliances with countries like South Korea that rely heavily on Beijing.
Karine Jean-Pierre’s pathetic “explanation” of why Joe Biden has notecards with pre-submitted questions and names of reporters to call on:
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) April 27, 2023