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Jean-Pierre criticizes North Carolina radio host over 'offensive' Biden question

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre sharply criticized a North Carolina radio show host on Tuesday when he asked whether President Biden has dementia.

“When I told a number of people that I was talking to you today. It was interesting, though, they all said, Would you please just ask her: Does the President have dementia?” WBT Charlotte radio host Mark Garrison said. “So before I move on from it: Does he?”

“Mark, Mark, I can’t even believe you’re asking me this question. That is an incredibly offensive question to ask,” Jean-Pierre replied.

Garrison noted, “You know people ask it,” and Jean-Pierre pushed back, saying, “You’re taking us down this rabbit hole.”

“Let me very clear about this. For the past several years, the President’s physician has laid out very, in a comprehensive way, the President’s health. This is a president, if you watch him every day, if you really pay attention to his record and what he has done, you will see exactly how focused he has been on the American people, how historic his actions have been,” Jean-Pierre continued.

“And so I’m not even going to truly, truly really, you know, take the premise of your question. I think it is incredibly insulting. And so we can, you know, we can move on to the next question,” she said.

Garrison accepted her response and moved on to his next question, which centered on how Biden plans to garner North Carolinian support when gas prices and grocery prices remain high. Jean-Pierre noted these prices have dropped significantly and pointed to some of Biden’s economic strengths.

“All the important groceries, those costs have gone down because of what this President has been able to do,” Jean-Pierre said, wrapping up her answer. “And with that, thank you so much, Mark. Have an amazing, amazing day.”

At the end of her response, a dial tone played. The radio hosts were audibly surprised by the suddenness of Jean-Pierre’s departure, which they characterized as the press secretary hanging up the phone. Similar interpretations of the moment have circulated in conservative media spaces.

The White House, however, has pushed back against the characterization, suggesting Jean-Pierre only had a few minutes for the interview and warned the station ahead of time. A spokesperson also noted the dial tone at the end was likely artificially added, noting those sounds do not typically sound at the end of a call today.

 “As she often does when the President travels, Karine had multiple back-to-back interviews with radio stations who were each offered 7 minutes. Once the agreed-upon time was over, she called into the next interview so everyone could get their full time. This particular station chose not to air the full interview and instead artificially attached a sound effect that our phones do not make when calls end,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement.

Source: The Hill

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