August 4, 2022

In Wednesday’s press briefing, FNC’s Doocy tried to make the case that Republicans are hawkish on China while President Biden is afraid of hurting President Xi Jinping’s feelings.

Unfortunately for Doocy, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre masterfully upended his effort.

DOOCY: How come Republicans seem more jazzed about Speaker Pelosi’s trip than the President?

JEAN-PIERRE: You’re going to have to ask Republicans. “Jazzed”?

DOOCY: Well, yeah. I mean --

JEAN-PIERRE: Do they have jazz hands, Peter?

DOOCY: Do I have jazz hands?

JEAN-PIERRE: (Laughs.) Do they have jazz hands?

DOOCY: Do they?

JEAN-PIERRE: You said “jazzed” -- that they’re feeling “jazzed.”

DOOCY: We can have our Hill team check.

Doocy tried what he hoped would be his zinger again.

DOOCY: But Mitch McConnell said, “I think it’s important for the speaker to go to Taiwan.” Lindsey Graham said the idea of her going “is a good thing.” Chuck Grassley, “I’m sure glad that she went.” Is President Biden just worried about hurting Xi’s feelings?

JEAN-PIERRE: I -- so you’re saying, because they said that, then we’re not “jazzed”?

DOOCY: Yeah. Absolutely.

Doocy was obviously trying to make right-wing political hay over the fact that President Biden had not wanted Pelosi to go to Taiwan. But if Doocy thought he’d have a Fox soundbite from it, Jean-Pierre set him straight.

JEAN-PIERRE: We’ve been very clear -- we’ve been very clear for, gosh, the past week or so, that the Speaker has the right to go to Taiwan. We have said that.

DOOCY: She has a right. Yes, you’ve been clear that she has a right to go, but why is it so hard for the president just to say, “She’s a brave trailblazer, and I think it’s great that she went,” like so many others on --

JEAN-PIERRE: I think the president thinks that Speaker Pelosi is a great trailblazer. Look, I --

DOOCY: Does he think that it was good that she went?

JEAN-PIERRE: Here’s the thing: What we are saying is that we cannot dictate and we will not dictate where members of Congress go.

Clearly, Doocy hoped to get Jean-Pierre to stumble over Biden’s position, either as too weak on China or non-supportive of Pelosi, or both, and then get a clip of that played and re-played on Fox News.

I doubt he got what he wanted out of this exchange.

White House scores again.

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