Biden walks back blaming the media for Trump leading in the polls: 'I'm teasing, man'

Biden also said it's 'fine' that Trump stay on presidential ballots in all 50 states

While speaking to reporters before departing from the White House on Marine One Tuesday, President Biden blamed the press for former President Trump’s lead in presidential polling.

As Biden approached the South Lawn around 10:30 a.m, reporters greeted him shouting several questions over the sound of the helicopter, including about the Middle East, the border and state initiatives to bar Trump from being on their ballots.

Biden answered each, though his answer to the Trump-related questions led to him ridiculing one of the reporters to his face, and insisting that the media’s coverage of Trump is keeping him afloat in the polls ahead of the 2024 presidential election. 


Biden speaking to reporters

President Biden teased a reporter on Tuesday that it's "because of guys like you" in the media that former President Trump has a lead in the polls. 

Multiple times, a reporter asked, "Should Donald Trump be allowed on the ballot?" to which the president said, "As far as I’m concerned, that’s fine."

Citing Biden’s stance on Trump and the MAGA movement, the reporter followed up, asking, "Why is he leading in the polls if he is a threat to democracy, as you say?" Biden has made the idea of Trump being a threat to democracy a theme of his 2024 reelection election campaign.

Laughing at the reporter, Biden quipped, "Because guys like you." 

The reporter asked, "What am I doing? Come on, Mr. President!"

Clarifying it was a joke, Biden turned around with his hands up and assured the journalist, "I’m teasing, man. I’m teasing."

He then gave himself a pass, adding, "It’s early!"


Trump speaking

Biden has previously claimed that former President Trump and his supporters are a threat to democracy. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Biden has blamed his low approval ratings on press coverage in the past, while campaign officials also reportedly met with major newspapers recently to pressure them for better coverage.

Upon leaving the White House before spending his Christmas at Camp David, Biden was asked by a reporter about his "outlook" on the economy going into 2024. 

"All good. Take a look," Biden responded. "Start reporting it the right way."

During an interview with MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle in May 2023, Biden also complained of negative press coverage and suggested that was to blame for his poor polling.

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The Illinois State Board of Elections voted unanimously on Tuesday to declare that it did not have jurisdiction to determine whether Trump is constitutionally ineligible to appear on the ballot, reserving that power for the courts. 

Trump will appear on the state’s ballot for the March 19 GOP primary. 

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