Here we are a little over two weeks away from the presidential election, and Joe Biden is still getting asked the type of cutesy, folksy questions Democrats get asked when stumping for caucus votes in Iowa.
The Democratic presidential nominee was in Durham, North Carolina on a campaign visit Sunday when he and his granddaughter Finnegan stopped at a local Cook Out to get some milkshakes. After the two placed and then received their orders, they turned around to the gaggle of reporters who had been patiently waiting for the opportunity to question the former vice president.
With Biden’s media availability being extremely limited over the last several months because reasons, you’d think diligent reporters would use the precious few minutes they do get to ask questions people want to know the answers to, questions of national import.
But the very first question Biden was asked after he started sipping on his milkshake was … about what flavor he got:
Joe Biden and granddaughter, Finnegan, get milkshakes at Cookout in Durham, NC pic.twitter.com/o4B8ziU7H9
— Tyler Pager (@tylerpager) October 18, 2020
As you can tell from the clip, not only was the question bad but his answer about “vanilla and chocolate” and “black and white” was even worse. Apparently, there was some sort of racial pandering component to his answer. It was a bit garbled as is often the case when Biden responds to a question, so it’s hard to know for sure.
Though we expect bad answers from Biden, we should be able to expect better from reporters at this stage of the game in the election:
“What flavor did you get?” – you don’t need to ask the candidate this question. Find out from staff.
Two weeks out, a party nominee should be asked more substantive questions.
This isn’t the first Iowa trip! https://t.co/SSYC37yfgp
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) October 18, 2020
There has never been a presidential candidate less scrutinized that the 2020 Democratic nominee. And this is after political media screaming about transparency for the past four years. You either hold the powerful or potentially accountable or you don’t. https://t.co/Iz7mHfQzbS
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) October 18, 2020
And today he was asked what ice cream flavor he got. https://t.co/4HWD134gyO
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) October 18, 2020
Trump campaign comms director Tim Murtaugh also posted a clip of the video, but followed up later noting that “in fairness”, the same reporter also asked Biden about the Hunter Biden emails just seconds later – which the presidential nominee waved off and ignored:
To be fair, another piece of video shows the same reporter followed up and tried to ask about the FBI seizure of Hunter’s laptop.
Biden walked off without answering.
— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) October 18, 2020
Hmm. Maybe that’s a reporter technique where they throw a softball to soften up a candidate before moving on to the more hard-hitting questions. I’m not sure.
In any event, my perspective here is with so little time left between now and the election and with so little time given to actually be able to question Biden on any given day, cut it out with the “common man” questions and instead get to what the American people should know about the people running for public office so they can make an informed decision before casting their vote.
Is that really too much to ask?