President Biden Begins Hiroshima Press Conference by Attacking House Republicans

Joe Biden Hiroshima (Kiyoshi Ota -Pool / Getty)
Kiyoshi Ota -Pool / Getty

The old adage that “politics ends at the water’s edge” was cast aside Sunday, when President Joe Biden began a press conference at the G-7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, by attacking House Republicans over the debt limit.

Before turning to the important work we accomplished here at the G-7, I want to take a few minutes addressing the budget negotiations that I’m heading back home to deal with. Before I left with this trip, I met with all four congressional leaders, and we agreed that the only way to move forward was a bipartisan agreement. … Now it’s time for the other side to move from their extreme positions, because much of what they’ve already proposed is simply, quite frankly, unacceptable.

Biden claimed that his own proposals would cut spending and the deficit, and accused Republicans of trying to protect the oil industry, “wealthy tax cheats,” and “crypto traders” while cutting spending on Medicaid and other social programs. “All four congressional leaders agree with me that default is not an option,” he said.

The president was at pains to emphasize his conflict with House Republicans, which the White House said was the reason he cut his trip to the western Pacific short, despite the diplomatic cost of alienating regional allies.

The tradition of not using overseas trips to attack domestic opponents was broken by President Barack Obama. As Breitbart News noted in 2019:

Obama frequently criticized his domestic opponents while abroad — often for the benefit of foreign autocrats. In 2015, for example, while at the G-20 summit in Turkey, Obama blasted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other Republicans over their views on the Syrian refugee crisis.

Far from outrage, the media approved of Obama’s criticism: CNN even listed examples of Republican presidential candidates who had come from immigrant backgrounds, to stress Obama’s point.

Obama did the same in the Philippines, claiming Republicans were “they’re scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America.”

A few conservative critics raised the “water’s edge” point, but the media said nothing.

Biden himself slammed Trump abroad this year — and even the United States itself — in an address in Germany. “The America I see values basic human decency, not snatching children from their parents or turning our back on refugees at our border. Americans know that’s not right,” Biden said. The American people understand — please, because it makes us embarrassing. The American people know, overwhelmingly, that that’s not right. That’s not who we are.”

Notably, Obama and Biden protested when President George W. Bush criticized “appeasement” in a speech to Israel’s Knesset in 2008. They interpreted Bush’s comments as a direct criticism of the Obama campaign’s foreign policy. Biden cited the “water’s edge” principle — the one he would conveniently discard once he and Obama were in office.

In 2019, President Donald Trump also criticized Biden while in Japan. Biden’s spokesperson complained — and now he has done exactly what he complained about, using a global platform to attack domestic opposition.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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