- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
President Joe Biden on Monday called a reporter a “stupid son of a bitch” after he was asked whether inflation was a “political liability in the midterms.”
It wasn’t just any reporter. It was Fox News’ Peter Doocy, the network’s rising star who is known for needling the president and for his clashes with White House press secretary Jen Psaki during daily briefings. Doocy has covered Biden from the start of his presidential campaign and was named a White House correspondent in early 2021.
It didn’t seem as if Biden was speaking directly to Doocy, though it’s unclear whether the moment was a hot-mic mistake or meant for the room to hear. The exchange happened during Biden’s meeting with the White House Competition Council, where he discussed his work to lower rising prices.
Following Biden’s remarks, journalists began shouting questions at the president as they were ushered out of the room.
“Do you think inflation is a political liability ahead of the midterms?” Doocy asked, according to the official White House transcript, which included the full exchange.
The president, who is known for having a short temper and not the cleanest of vocabularies during heated moments, spoke right above his microphone. “No, it’s a great asset — more inflation,” Biden said, shaking his head. “What a stupid son of a bitch.”
It didn’t take long for Fox to blast the exchange: “Biden blows up at Peter Doocy,” the chyron read.
Fox’s Jesse Watters, talking to Doocy on air, made a joke of the moment. “Doocy, I think the president’s right. You are a stupid SOB,” he said.
“Nobody has fact-checked him yet and said it’s not true,” Doocy quipped.
Last week, Biden took questions from reporters for 111 minutes at the White House, answering on everything from Covid missteps and his Build Back Better agenda to Russia and Ukraine. When it was Doocy’s turn, Biden joked that the reporter always asked him the “nicest questions.”
“I got a whole binder full,” Doocy said.
“I know you do,” Biden said. “None of them make a lot of sense to me.”
The president called Doocy later Monday, the reporter told Sean Hannity on Fox. The White House referred POLITICO to Doocy’s interview on Fox, when asked to confirm the call.
“He cleared the air. And I appreciated it. We had a nice call,” Doocy said on Fox. “He said it’s nothing personal, pal. And I told him that I appreciated him reaching out. Hey, Sean, the world is on the brink of like World War III right now with all the stuff going on. I appreciate that the president took a couple minutes out this evening … to give me a call and clear the air. But I don’t need anybody to apologize to me. He can call me whatever he wants as long as it gets him talking.”