Barack Obama visited the White House for the first time since he left office on Tuesday. He was there to celebrate the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, as well as to watch President Biden sign an executive order aimed at improving the law. Obama’s return created plenty of commotion, and for Fox News and the rest of the right-wing ecosphere, a fresh opportunity to cast Biden as a weaker, watered-down version of the former president.
The Republican National Committee shared two clips of the visit that quickly went viral. The first shows an ostensibly confused Biden ambling around the stage as Obama holds court behind him. The second is similar, with Biden standing on the periphery as Obama greets well wishers.
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The clips even made it onto the Fox News primetime slate. “Biden doesn’t know what on earth he’s doing or, at times, where he even is,” Lauran Ingraham said as she played the first clip. Tucker Carlson played the second, along with a “King Obama” graphic depicting the former president wearing a crown and a menacing scowl. “Make it stop,” Carlson said. “It’s awful.”
The only problem is that both clips were taken out of context. Biden does look a little confused in the first clip, but it’s only because he’s looking for someone, perhaps Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, whom he brings up onstage to applause shortly after the conservative media cut ends. The second clip ends right before Biden gets Obama’s attention and introduces him to someone. Twitter user @acyn helpfully attached the full clips to the end of the Fox News segments lambasting the edited versions.
Newsmax got in on the action, too. The network on Tuesday ran a “PRESIDENT OBAMA 2.0” graphic along with a bizarre chyron about how Biden and Obama are “beta males.” It also showed the clips, both with similar deceptive edits. “At one point he’s just walking aimlessly through the room,” an on-air commentator said on Wednesday morning. “It’s really sad. He doesn’t know where to go.”
“This is a lost old man. This is when I pulled out the 25th Amendment,” another added before arguing that the 25th Amendment, which allows for the removal of the president from office if they’re unable to discharge their duties, could be in play before 2024. “I believe it is if the evidence continues to mount that President Biden is actually incapable of performing his job,” she said.
Biden’s effectiveness as a president is up for debate, but conservative media feeling the need to doctor video clips of the president proves there isn’t as much evidence that he can’t do the job as they’d like there to be.
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