President Joe Biden on Friday refused to take questions from reporters after a press briefing on the dismal September jobs report.
Biden touted signs of ”great progress” in the report, even though the overall number missed expectations by a wide margin.
”The monthly totals bounce around,” Biden said, ”but if you take a look at the trend, it’s solid.”
He walked off after he offered his signature line, ”may God protect our troops,” with reporters shouting questions at him, according to Fox News.
The unemployment rate fell to 4.8%, better than the expected 5.1%, though nonfarm payrolls rose by just 194,000, compared with the Dow Jones estimate of 500,000.
Stocks edged lower after the report, with the Dow Jones Indusstrial Average dropping 8 points, or 0.02%.
Biden occasionally takes questions from reporters after speeches or other public engagements, but he rarely holds press conferences. In late September, members of the White House press pool lodged a complaint with the White House after British reporters — but not American ones — were recognized for questions after Biden’s meeting in September with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
In August, Biden turned heads when, at a press conference on the Kabul terror attacks, said he was given a list of reporters to call on.
”The first person I was instructed to call on was Kelly O’Donnell from NBC,” he said.
“Who the hell is in charge here?” Washington Examiner commentator Tiana Lowe asked.
“Amazing. And everyone goes along with this,” wrote Stephen Miller, a contributor to The Spectator, adding: “He is not in charge.”
“He said instructed. … ,” Washington Examiner Magazine Managing Editor Jay Caruso tweeted.
“Biden just said ‘I was instructed to call on’ this reporter! Who instructed him to call on the reporter? Who’s really in charge? Are you kidding me?” Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., exclaimed.