During an impromptu press conference at the White House on Thursday, President Joe Biden repeatedly whispered to reporters. An interesting interaction that had many on social media talking.
The conference was held so that Biden could discuss a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal. A White House release said the compromise includes $109 billion for roads and bridges, $66 billion for passenger and freight rail, $65 billion for internet, $55 billion for water infrastructure, $49 billion for public transportation, $47 billion for infrastructure resilience, $25 billion for airports, $7.5 billion for electric buses, $7.5 billion for electric car charging stations, and a supplemental $1.8 trillion families plan.
During three moments, Biden leaned over his lectern and whispered into the microphone while answering questions. It seemed like he was attempting to emphasize his points. However, his whispers immediately resulted in both speculation and jokes on social media.
Republican strategist Matt Whitlock tweeted a compilation reel of Biden’s press conference whispers and wrote, “This is nuts.”
Press secretary to Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Abigail Marone, tweeted, “The Biden lean in and long whisper into the mic was very very bizarre.”
One Biden supporter tweeted, “I’m on team Biden, but when he whispers an answer into the microphone, it’s creepy.”
What Was President Biden Whispering About?
Biden’s first whisper came in response to PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor’s question about additional relief for families. Biden whispered, “I got them $1.9 trillion in relief so far. They’re going to be getting checks in the mail that are consequential this week for childcare.”
Later, CNN reporter Phil Mattingly asked President Biden about how the deal was agreed upon. Biden began his response with a normal speaking volume.
“I’m not going to negotiate with the press when I’m negotiating privately with my colleagues. And these are very tough decisions. I don’t in any way dismiss what Sen. [Chris] Murphy [D-Conn.] says about the environment,” said Biden. “I don’t dismiss it at all.”
Then he lowered his voice to a whisper and leaned into the microphone, “I wrote the bill on the environment. Why would I not be for it?”
President Biden’s final whisper came in response to questions about citizens who would prefer to collect COVID-19 unemployment benefits than to go back to low-paying jobs.
Biden whispered, “Pay them more. This is an employee’s, an employee’s bargaining chip now.”
The whispers served as fodder for social media jokes.
Podcaster Chase Geiser shared a clip from the conference and tweeted, “BIDEN: Should I do the whisper thing? INTERN: Definitely.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s press secretary Doug Andres tweeted, “i don’t know how to react to that Biden whisper moment just now.”