The White House on Monday brushed off a tweet from Sen. John CornynJohn CornynOn The Money: Biden seeks GOP support for infrastructure plan | Democrats debate tax hikes on wealthy | Biden, Congress target semiconductor shortage Hillicon Valley: Biden nominates former NSA deputy director to serve as cyber czar | Apple to send witness to Senate hearing after all | Biden pressed on semiconductor production amid shortage Lawmakers, industry call on Biden to fund semiconductor production amid shortage MORE (R-Texas) that suggested President BidenJoe BidenTrump: McConnell ‘helpless’ to stop Biden from packing court Biden, first lady send ‘warmest greetings’ to Muslims for Ramadan The business case for child care reform MORE may just be a figurehead because of his carefully calibrated media presence.
Cornyn earlier in the day shared a Politico story titled “The Biden White House media doctrine: Less can be more” and quoted a passage that notes Biden has done few cable news interviews, does not tweet frequently or with off-the-cuff commentary and mostly delivers scripted public comments.
“Invites the question: is he really in charge?” Cornyn tweeted.
Invites the question: is he really in charge?
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) April 12, 2021
“I can confirm that the president of the United States does not spend his time tweeting conspiracy theories, he spends his time working on behalf of the American people,” White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Defense: Biden nominating first female Army secretary | Israel gets tough on Iran amid nuclear talks | Army’s top enlisted soldier ‘very proud’ of officer pepper sprayed by police Israel gets tough with Iran as Biden signals shift from Trump Shocking killing renews tensions over police MORE responded when asked about Cornyn’s commentary at a briefing.
Psaki’s remarks appeared to be a shot at former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: McConnell ‘helpless’ to stop Biden from packing court Romney on NRSC awarding Trump: Not ‘my preference’ McConnell sidesteps Trump calling him ‘dumb son of a b—-‘ MORE, who was kicked off Twitter in January but spent his final months on the platform spreading misleading or false information about the 2020 election and at times shared material connected to the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Cornyn’s tweet prompted broader blowback from Democrats and political commentators who hit Cornyn for promoting conspiracy theories about whether Biden is in charge and for suggesting the current president’s lack of constant media presence is problematic given Republican senators spent four years dodging questions about Trump’s Twitter feed.
“Can the President govern without sending crazy tweets in the middle of the night, one of the highest ranking Republicans in the Senate asks? Yes, it turns out he can,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) tweeted.
“Lord have mercy. You would think you would lauding Biden for this. So you are criticizing him for actually spending time on his actual job? Maybe you could consider doing that,” tweeted Matthew Dowd, a former aide to George W. Bush.
Cornyn followed up his original tweets by noting he “posted the whole [Politico] story so people can read it for themselves, and highlighted a couple of excerpts.”
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) April 12, 2021
Lord have mercy. You would think you would lauding Biden for this. So you are criticizing him for actually spending time on his actual job? Maybe you could consider doing that.
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) April 12, 2021
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