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Rather than ‘owning his failure’ Biden ‘fumed’ that aids treated him ‘like a toddler’

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Turns out President Joe Biden does have at least enough cognitive function to know when his aides are walking back comments he made, publicly embarrassing him. Excerpts from a forthcoming biography of Biden’s first term by Franklin Foer details some of Biden’s tantrum moments.

One specific excerpt from the book highlights the President’s behavior and lack of humility. After going off-script to declare that Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power” during a March speech in Warsaw, Joe Biden fumed that his aides had infantilized him by walking back his comments.

“Biden instantly knew that the White House would have to clarify his mistake. By the time Biden piled into the motorcade. His aides had released a statement walking back his sentence,” writes Foer, excerpted in Axios.

“Biden left for home, ending his triumphalist tour, feeling sorry for himself,” Foer continues. “Rather than owning his failure, he fumed to his friends about how he was treated like a toddler. Was John Kennedy ever babied like that?”

Biden’s improvised comments about Putin put a damper on his entire feel-good European tour, in which he met with NATO and European Union allies against the backdrop of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. “The President’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region. He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change,” a White House official clarified shortly after Biden’s comments.

Another excerpt details another critical foreign relations moment in history; the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. “Biden didn’t have time to voraciously consume the news, but he was well aware of the coverage, and it infuriated him. It did little to change his mind, though,” Foer writes following the debacle removing American forces from the embattled country after nearly two decades of war.

“The criticism of the withdrawal caused him [Biden] to justify the chaos as the inevitable consequence of a difficult decision, even though he had never publicly, or privately, predicted it. Through the whole last decade of the Afghan War, he had detested the conventional wisdom of the foreign-policy elites,” Foer continues.

“They were willing to stay forever, no matter the cost.”