The official White House transcript from President Biden’s meet-and-greet with embassy families in Dublin is not a good look for the commander-in-chief. Biden seemed confused and lost and Hunter Biden of all people had to step in and help Joe along.
Hunter had to help Joe field a question, make sense of it, and usher him along reminding him he had to do a rope line.
Biden said when prompted by Hunter, “I’m supposed to do the rope line?” Hunter responds as if his dad doesn’t know what in the hell a rope line is: “Just to say hi to everybody.” Below is the official transcript. A video follows.
THE PRESIDENT: What do you want to ask me?
Whoa, the Air Force — there’s Air F- — look at this. It’s Air Force One. Right here. It’s pretty cool, man.
HUNTER BIDEN: In the back. He’s got a question.
THE PRESIDENT: What’s your question?
CHILD: What’s the top step to success?
THE PRESIDENT: What’s the top what?
CHILD: Step — steps — step to success.
THE PRESIDENT: What’s the top step to succ- — to success?
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, well, making sure that we don’t all have COVID. What — why — what are we talking about here?
CHILD: Like —
HUNTER BIDEN: If you can — what’s the — what’s the key to success?
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, what’s the key to success? You know what I found out is the key to success is? And I’m not sure I’m the best guy to explain it; these guys can tell you.
The key to success is whenever you disagree with someone, it’s okay to question their judgment — whether they’re right or wrong — but it’s never okay to question their motive. If you question their motive, then you never get to be able to agree.
For example, if you say to somebody, “The reason why you don’t agree with me is because you are stupid, you are bad, you are — you just don’t like the people I like.”
Instead of saying I just didn’t — just tell you why, I disagree with you because of the following things. Because once you question somebody’s motive — why they’re doing something — because you don’t know. In fact, what happens after that, you can never get an agreement, get together.
I learned that lesson a long time — I say to that to all the embassy folks, too — I learned that a long time ago.
There was a guy named Jesse Helms from South Carolina — from North Carolina — South Carolina.
HUNTER BIDEN: North.
THE PRESIDENT: — North Carolina. And he was a very conservative guy who was very, very — not very crazy about African Americans when he got here. He was all — we always had fights.
And one day, I was going into the United States Senate, and Jesse Helms said — was — was on the floor of the Senate saying some terrible things about Ted Kennedy and Bob Dole, the Republican leader, who both had introduced a bill for making sure people with disabilities have access to curb cuts, access to buses, and all these things. It’s called the Americans with Disabilities Act.
And what happened was, I was very upset when I walked in to go see the Majority Leader when I heard this debate. And unfortunately, I was more afraid of the Majority Leader being late than — than I was to go and talk.
I walked in, and I guess I looked like I was angry. And he looked at me, and he said, “What’s the matter, Joe?” I was 32 years old. And I said — and I went on about Jesse Helms, that he has no social redeeming value. “How could he possibly say things like that?” I couldn’t believe it.
And he looked at me and he said, “Joe, what would you say if I told you that Jesse Helms, in 1970, sitting in his living room with his wife, Dot, in Raleigh were reading the paper. And there was a photograph of a young man on crutches — 16 years old, with braces from under his arms all the way down to his ankles, and two steel crutches.” And I said, what would you — and — “It was an advertisement for an orphanage. And it said, ‘All I want is someone to take me home for Christmas and love me.’”
He said, “What would you say, Joe, if I told you they adopted that young man?” I said, “I’d feel foolish.” Well, they did adopt him. They did adopt him.
And I said — and I went and apologized to Jesse Helms, because the idea that I disagreed with everything he said, but when he — but the suggestion that he’s doing it because he didn’t care about people with disabilities was wrong. I questioned his motive. I never did that again.
That’s a long answer to a real quick question. (Laughter.)
CHILD: How is your dog doing?
THE PRESIDENT: My dog is doing well. (Laughter.) His name is Commander.
THE PRESIDENT: What’s your doggie’s name?
THE PRESIDENT: Louie! All right.
THE PRESIDENT: Anyway, guys —
HUNTER BIDEN: You’re supposed to do the rope line, Dad.
THE PRESIDENT: I’m supposed to do the rope line?
HUNTER BIDEN: Just to say hi to everybody. (Inaudible.)
THE PRESIDENT: All right. Well, guys, thank you.