Biden takes heat for ‘Trumpian’ call into MSNBC pledging to stay in race: ‘Angry, defensive, lashing out’

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Biden takes heat for ‘Trumpian’ call into MSNBC pledging to stay in race: ‘Angry, defensive, lashing out’

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President Biden’s defiant phone call to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” insisting he’d stay in the race set off a firestorm of criticism on social media on Monday.

During the call, Biden knocked the media and Democratic “elites” demanding he drop out of the race and suggested his critics challenge him for the nomination at the upcoming party convention. 

“I’m getting frustrated by the elites — not you guys — the elites in the party. Oh, they know so much more. Any of these guys that don’t think I should run, run against me. Announce for president, challenge me at the convention,” he told “Morning Joe.”

Media commentators and Biden allies criticized the president’s defensive tone on X and said he was hurting his chances with voters and his party.

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President Biden defiantly proclaimed he would stay in the race during a phone call to MSNBC on Monday morning. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

“Overall takeaway: He is absolutely DARING the party to try to get rid of him. Positively Trumpian about his crowd sizes — and what that means. Defiant bordering on arrogant,” political commentator and ex-CNNer Chris Cillizza wrote.

Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau had high praise for Biden’s “energy” but said his messaging “sucks.”

“Energy is great! Sounds strong! Love that part. Message absolutely sucks – angry, defensive, lashing out at all the wrong people. Just please, please talk about voter concerns, how you’ll address them, and how Trump will make them worse. That’s all!” he wrote on X.

In response to Favreau’s post, Semafor reporter Benjy Sarlin described the intraparty conflict as a “murder-suicide:” 

“The basic dynamic: Biden has not made much progress since the debate convincing Democrats he’s up to the job of beating Trump, but he’s made progress in telegraphing to them it will be a murder-suicide if they try to take the nomination and fail,” he posted.

Conservative figures also criticized the president for calling into the MSNBC show and shouting at the friendly hosts.

“Because letting your boss call into a cable TV show, hiding his face and possibly a stack of talking points and white board full of answers, is certainly a choice that will quell the concerns of the American people,” former press secretary for Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign Ken Farnaso wrote.

“Look, I’m not a political consultant, but I’m thinking that Biden screaming on Morning Joe isn’t going to soothe any souls about his condition. How easily he’s angered is a symptom of his condition,” RedState writer Bonchie posted.

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Biden

President Joe Biden has faced mounting calls to drop out of the race following his disastrous CNN debate. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

CNN host Jim Acosta and Vanity Fair correspondent Brian Stelter also compared Biden’s phone call to something his GOP rival would do, but framed it as a strategic political maneuver. 

“It was a little bit of a page out of Donald Trump‘s playbook calling into a morning show this morning,” Acosta said on CNN on Monday. 

“Yes, Biden did sound a bit Trumpian in this most recent call. He did, by the way, also on ABC,” Stelter said, referencing the president’s interview with George Stephanopoulos Friday. “There‘s an element of resentment and grievance that you and I very well-recognize from the former president, and we do know that motivates some voters.”

“It certainly is a way to fire up base voters,” he continued, before questioning if it would move the needle for the “nervous” members of his party.

Biden

President Biden phones into MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on July 8, 2024. (MSNBC / Screenshot)

Biden’s phone call did impress some supporters on social media. Filmmaker Rob Reiner posted to X, “If we see the Joe Biden that appeared on Morning Joe today every day until Nov.5, he’ll be able to shut up people like me who think he should step aside.”

The president has gone on a media blitz in response to prominent Democrats and media figures calling on him to take more media interviews following his disastrous debate performance in June that spurred a firestorm of concerns about his mental acuity and re-election chances.

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Fox News’ Nikolas Lanum contributed to this report.

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