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NYC Boss

Bret Baier DESTROYS Biden Spokesman After Showing Inability to Answer Basic Questions

Bret Baier DESTROYS Biden Spokesman After Showing Inability to Answer Basic Questions

Before he similarly grilled Trump 2020 Communications Director Tim Murtaugh, FNC’s Special Report anchor Bret Baier conducted a master’s class Thursday night in interviewing Biden campaign national press secretary T.J. Ducklo.

How did Baier do it? Unlike CNN and MSNBC, Baier asked basic questions that sent Ducklo into repeated tailspins, accusing Baier of being a stooge for President Trump. While his condescending and juvenile demeanor might have made CNN proud, it wasn’t pretty and further bolstered the reality of how both Biden and his aides have adopted a basement strategy and avoided tough questions.

From the start, the nearly seven-and-a-half-minute interview went off the rails as Baier led with this basic yet substantive question: I want to start with what the former vice president specifically would have done at the end of January had he received the briefing that we know now the President received January 28.”

While it could have been a chance to show voters what Biden would have done, Ducklo cited statistics about the U.S. caseload and death count compared to the rest of the world, touted the Bob Woodward book excerpt, a study about lockdowns, and falsely claimed Trump called COVID “a hoax.” Note how none of that concerned what Biden would have done if he were president.

Baier channeled the ghost of Tim Russert by playing two clips of Biden supporters (and beloved liberal media guests) Zeke Emanuel and Ron Klain in January downplaying the coronavirus and disagreeing with the notion of halting travel from China.

He used this point to restate “what specifically would the former vice president have done,” but Ducklo embarrassed himself by falsely claiming (to Baier’s astonishment) that Biden supported Trump’s travel restrictions on China.

And when Baier pushed back to verbalize his understandable befuddlement, Ducklo lectured him that he could sent him fact-checks (click “expand”):

DUCKLO: Well, let’s get a few things straight. The vice president was not against the travel ban, first of all. Second of all, let’s – let’s remember an important –

BAIER: He wasn’t?

DUCKLO: – Bret, let’s remember an important distinction. Donald Trump was the President of the United States. It was on Donald Trump to take – 

BAIER: I’m asking you if Joe Biden was the president –

DUCKLO: – it’s on Donald –

BAIER: – of the United States –

DUCKLO: – it was on Donald Trump –

BAIER: – if he was.

DUCKLO: – to take action to actually protect the American people.

BAIER: And he – he closed the travel to China. 

DUCKLO: Joe Biden wrote an op-ed in USA Today in January warning that the threat was coming. Joe Biden said in February that Donald Trump should get people on the ground in China. What did – what did Donald Trump do? Donald Trump was praising China. Donald Trump was praising President Xi’s response saying that they had it under control when, clearly, he knew, as we now know from Bob Woodward, that they did not have it under control. He should have been protecting the –

BAIER: Okay.

DUCKLO: – American people. He should have been putting real plans in place –

BAIER: So, let me just clarify. Let me –

DUCKLO: – to confront this incredibly dangerous threat.

BAIER: –- understand. Let me just clarify. You’re saying that Joe Biden was for closing down travel from China when the President did it? 

DUCKLO: Donald – Joe Biden has been clear and I can send you the fact-checks if they’re helpful, Bret. Joe Biden has been clear that he was not against that travel ban. 

BAIER: But he was for it? 

DUCKLO: Joe Biden has been clear about this, Bret. I can – again, I can send you – I can send you the fact checks if they’re helpful. This has been fact checked into oblivion.

Baier continued to press for a basic “yes or no,” but Ducklo tried to steer the interview by lobbing what was clearly an attack on Fox News, telling Baier that “I know that you all like to cite the travel ban” because that’s what President Trump likes.

Replicating moments from past grillings Hillary Clinton, James Comey, and Brian Fallon, a frustrated Baier called Ducklo out on account of the fact that what Biden would have done different will “obviously…be in the debate.”

Ducklo continued his short-circuiting with his insistence he’ll send fact-checks and a creepy inability to speak more than a few words without uttering the President’s name. So, Baier had enough, telling him amid the cross-talk: “I’m going to take it that you’re not going to answer that question. You’re going to send me fact checks. Let’s – let’s continue to fact-check. Let’s continue to fact-check.”

Baier then played another clip, with this one being Dr. Tony Fauci denying the notion that Trump misled the American public when it came to the pandemic’s severity.

The FNC host asked Ducklo whether Fauci was wrong, but Ducklo took another shot at FNC: “Bret, I – I know that it’s – you all are working overtime to try to find excuses for this President.”

Pivoting to this idea that Trump should have instituted nationwide lockdowns sooner, Baier pointed out such a move would have caused problems with the March 3, 2020 primary votes and thus could have kept Biden from catching and passing Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination.

Ducklo wouldn’t entertain that, dismissing it by asserting Trump was President and – wait for it –smearing Fox News: “I understand that it’s – it might – it might be useful to, like, engage in hypotheticals like that you are doing.”

Baier worked in a question about tax increases, but with time running out, he ended with another simple “yes or no” in whether Biden uses teleprompters at home for events and TV interviews.

This sent Ducklo into a dizzy. Along with not denying that Biden needs them to function, Ducklo accused Baier of receiving questions from the Trump campaign (click “expand”):

BAIER: Has Joe Biden ever used a teleprompter during local interviews or to answer Q&A with supporters? 

DUCKLO: Bret, we are not going to engage. This is – this is straight from the Trump campaign talking points. 

BAIER: And yet, they’re using it. 

DUCKLO: And what it does – and what it does, Bret, is it’s trying to distract the American people from –

BAIER: I’m just –

DUCKLO: – from – from –

BAIER: – they’re using it. 

DUCKLO: – from the pandemic.

BAIER: They talk about it every day. 

DUCKLO: Well –

BAIER: Can you say yes or no?

DUCKLO: That’s bec – they talk about it every day, Bret, because they don’t have a coherent stra – strategy.

BAIER: You haven’t answered. 

DUCKLO: They don’t –

BAIER: Yes or no?

DUCKLO: Bret, they talk about it every day because they don’t have a coherent argument for why Donald Trump deserves re-election, deserves four more years. We know that he lied to the American people. We know that he has not showed leadership during this crisis and they are desperate to throw anything they can against the wall to try to distract from that fact. 

BAIER: I understand. But you can’t answer the question? 

DUCKLO: Bret, I am not going to allow –

BAIER: Okay.

DUCKLO: – the Trump campaign to funnel their questions through Fox News and get me to respond to that. 

To see the relevant FNC transcript from September 10, click “expand.”

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
September 10, 2020
6:10 p.m. Eastern

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
09/10/20
6:10:27 p.m.
7 minutes and 23 seconds

BRET BAIER: We are talking this evening with the top media representatives for each of the presidential candidates. First up tonight, T.J. Ducklo, national press secretary for the Biden campaign. TJ, thanks for being on. 

TJ DUCKLO: Hey, Bret. Thanks for having me.

BAIER: You heard Peter’s piece, I want to start with what the former vice president specifically would have done at the end of January had he received the briefing that we know now the president received January 28.

DUCKLO: Sure. Well, Bret, we know that, you know, here we are in the United States of America. We are four percent of the world’s population. We are 20 percent of the COVID cases. We are 25 percent of the COVID deaths. We know from Bob Woodward’s reporting as you just covered that this President knowingly and willfully lied about the dangerousness of the threat that faced this country. We know from Columbia University had this President taken as a few weeks earlier, we would have had tens of thousands of lives that would have been saved. You know, while the President was calling it a hoax, saying the virus would magically disappear, he knew. He knew, Bret. We knew that – that how dangerous the threat that we are facing was. 

BAIER: Right, so –

DUCKLO: Joe Biden – Joe Biden, from the very beginning in March, has put out very clear plans about what he would do to get our country where –

BAIER: – right, but I’m talking about –

DUCKLO: – we need to be.

BAIER: – in January because here are his two top advisers – two of them – that he listens to closely, Ron Klain and Zeke Emanuel, on January 28th and January 30th. 

DAVID FABER [on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street, 01/28/20]: Would you ban Chinese travelers from arriving in the United States? 

RON KLAIN [on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street, 01/28/20]: I wouldn’t. I think that’s premature. 

ZEKE EMANUEL [on CNBC’s Squawk Box, 01/30/20]: Everyone in America should take a very big breath, slow down and stop panicking and being hysterical. 

BAIER: And it goes on. I mean, they continue to make comments that masks are not necessary. At the moment, this is overreaction. It goes into February and early March. So, understanding that those are the people he listens to and Joe Biden has said that he wouldn’t have closed the travel from China. What specifically would the former vice president have done? 

DUCKLO: Well, let’s get a few things straight. The vice president was not against the travel ban, first of all. Second of all, let’s – let’s remember an important –

BAIER: He wasn’t?

DUCKLO: – Bret, let’s remember an important distinction. Donald Trump was the President of the United States. It was on Donald Trump to take – 

BAIER: I’m asking you if Joe Biden was the president –

DUCKLO: – it’s on Donald  –

BAIER: – of the United States –

DUCKLO: – it was on Donald Trump –

BAIER: – if he was.

DUCKLO: – to take action to actually protect the American people.

BAIER: And he – he closed the travel to China. 

DUCKLO: Joe Biden wrote an op-ed in USA Today in January warning that the threat was coming. Joe Biden said in February that Donald Trump should get people on the ground in China. What did – what did Donald Trump do? Donald Trump was praising China. Donald Trump was praising President Xi’s response saying that they had it under control when, clearly, he knew, as we now know from Bob Woodward, that they did not have it under control. He should have been protecting the –

BAIER: Okay.

DUCKLO: – American people. He should have been putting real plans in place –

BAIER: So, let me just clarify. Let me –

DUCKLO: – to confront this incredibly dangerous threat.

BAIER: –- I understand. Let me just clarify. You’re saying that Joe Biden was for closing down travel from China when the President did it? 

DUCKLO: Donald – Joe Biden has been clear and I can send you the fact-checks if they’re helpful, Bret. Joe Biden has been clear that he was not against that travel ban. 

BAIER: But he was for it? 

DUCKLO: Joe Biden has been clear about this, Bret. I can – again, I can send you – I can send you the fact checks if they’re helpful. This has been fact checked into oblivion. 

BAIER: Okay, I’m just asking you the question. You’re saying yes, he was for the China travel ban when the President implemented it, two – 48 hours after receiving that briefing?

DUCKLO: Ah, the important thing about the travel ban –

BAIER: Yes or no?

DUCKLO: – and I know that –

BAIER: Yes or no –

DUCKLO: – and I – and I know –

BAIER: – TJ?

DUCKLO: – Bret, I know that you all like to cite the travel ban. I know the President –

BAIER: No, no, no. The President does.

DUCKLO: – likes to cite the travel ban.

BAIER: That’s why I’m bringing it up. 

DUCKLO: Hold on, Bret.

BAIER: It’s obviously going to be in the debate. 

DUCKLO: Bret, Bret. Hold on. The important thing to know about the travel ban is that even after the President implemented that travel ban, tens – or he says that he implemented it – of thousands of people came in –

BAIER: Okay.

DUCKLO: – and out of –

BAIER: I’m going to take it that –

DUCKLO: – the country and what was Donald –

BAIER:  – you’re not going to answer that question.

DUCKLO: – what was Donald Trump –

BAIER: You’re going to send me –

DUCKLO: – what was Donald –

BAIER: – fact checks. 

DUCKLO: – what was Donald Trump doing, Bret?

BAIER: Let’s –

DUCKLO: He was – he was ignoring the virus.

BAIER: – let’s continue to fact-check.

DUCKLO: He was praising China. Go head.

BAIER: Let’s continue to fact-check. Here’s what Dr. Fauci said. When asked if there was a discrepancy with what the President said privately and what the President said publicly. 

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI [on FNC’s The Daily Briefing, 09/09/20]: I may not be tuned into the right thing that they’re talking about, but I didn’t really see any discrepancies between what he told us and what he told him and what he ultimately came out publicly and said. 

BAIR: So is Dr. Fauci wrong? 

DUCKLO: Bret, I – I know that it’s – you all are working overtime to try to find excuses for this president. We know from the president’s own words, he knew how serious this threat was. He did not implement the necessary steps to get testing to where we needed, to get contact tracing to where we needed, to mobilize PPE and get that around to hospitals around the country. This president failed the American people when we needed it most. 

BAIER: Okay, I –

DUCKLO: And that’s absolutely unforgivable.

BAIER: – was just asking you specific questions about what’s happening in over the last couple of days. Joe Biden has said and you mentioned it that if President Trump had asked two weeks earlier, 54,000 lives would have been saved in March and April. But if President Trump acted two weeks earlier and shut everything down, Super Tuesday primaries would have been affected. Wouldn’t they? And making it harder for Biden to catch Bernie Sanders to become the nominee. You weren’t out calling – he was not calling for the – the stop of the super Tuesday primaries?

DUCKLO: Well, again, Bret – Bret, I will remind you of the distinction I made earlier, which is that Donald Trump is the President. 

BAIER: I know, but had he acted –

DUCKLO: Donald – Donald Trump –

BAIER: – your guy might not be the nominee, correct? 

DUCKLO: I – I – I – I – I understand that it’s – it might – it might be useful to, like, engage in hypotheticals like that you are doing. Donald Trump was the President. He had the information. He lied about it. It’s quite simply that simple. 

BAIER: Okay. Let me move on. You had an interview today, the former vice president did. He told Jake Tapper that he would raise corporate taxes day on day one, regardless of the unemployment rate. One, is that good politics and two, how would he do that? 

DUCKLO: Well, look. I think the vice president has been clear he’s going to stand up for the middle class, that he is going to be there for working families and that he is going to prioritize them in everything that he does. As you know, Bret, you all have covered, the vice president rolled out in his plan for an economic recovery in July, how we’re going to build back this country, not just to where we were before the coronavirus but to build back better. He has laid out his entire vision for that economic recovery over the course of July, investing in manufacturing, investing in our caregivers, investing in a clean energy economy. It’s – you know, it’s something that we talk often about because that’s one of the jobs of the president, is to get Americans back to work in the middle of this – of this economic crisis as well as this pandemic. 

BAIER: There will be a lot of time to go into specifics. I wanted to ask you about NAFTA and what he said about all of that today because it’s important in a lot of states. But I want to keep it fair on time. End with this. Has Joe Biden ever used a teleprompter during local interviews or to answer Q&A with supporters? 

DUCKLO: Bret, we are not going to engage. This is – this is straight from the Trump campaign talking points. 

BAIER: And yet, they’re using it. 

DUCKLO: And what it does – and what it does, Bret, is it’s trying to distract the American people from –

BAIER: I’m just –

DUCKLO: – from – from –

BAIER: – they’re using it. 

DUCKLO: – from the pandemic.

BAIER: They talk about it every day. 

DUCKLO: Well –

BAIER: Can you say yes or no?

DUCKLO: That’s bec – they talk about it every day, Bret, because they don’t have a coherent stra – strategy.

BAIER: You haven’t answered. 

DUCKLO: They don’t –

BAIER: Yes or no?

DUCKLO: Bret, they talk about it every day because they don’t have a coherent argument for why Donald Trump deserves re-election, deserves four more years. We know that he lied to the American people. We know that he has not showed leadership during this crisis and they are desperate to throw anything they can against the wall to try to distract from that fact. 

BAIER: I understand. But you can’t answer the question? 

DUCKLO: Bret, I am not going to allow –

BAIER: Okay.

DUCKLO: – the Trump campaign to funnel their questions through Fox News and get me to respond to that. 

BAIER: Well, T.J., we appreciate your time and thank you for coming on. 

DUCKLO: Thanks, Bret.

Published at Fri, 11 Sep 2020 02:09:00 +0000