FNC’s Heinrich, NYP’s Nelson Welcome New KJP Stand-in by Grilling Her on Hunter

June 27th, 2023 6:09 PM

Sadly depriving the public of the comically partisan White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates, the Biden regime trotted out Principal Deputy Press Secretary Olivia Dalton on Tuesday to fill in for Karine Jean-Pierre. In turn, Dalton faced some hardballs about the Biden economy, a faux-hardball from a Team Biden apple polisher, and new queries about Hunter Biden’s life of corruption.

The Fox News Channel’s Jacqui Heinrich greeted Dalton with questions about Hunter Biden, a topic the press corps had let go of after Friday.



“What message is the President trying to send to the American people when he invites his son to the state dinner and Camp David as we saw this past weekend amid everything he’s going through,” Heinrich first asked.

Dalton went along with the sympathy argument, which was Biden’s devotion to his family: “Every president of the United States has invited their family to a state dinner. This president also has a family. He is no different. And beyond that, I am just not going to engage on this.”

Heinrich only worked in a single follow-up, citing how even former Biden Press Secretary Jen Psaki believed the optics weren’t ideal before asking whether Hunter’s precedence has created “challenges” for the administration. Having watched Psaki and Jean-Pierre, Dalton doubled down.

Always one for hardballs to Team Biden, the New York Post’s Steven Nelson invoked reported interference in the Hunter probe as well as rumored comments former President Obama gave to Biden in 2020 almost begging him to not run for president (click “expand”):

NELSON: I’ve got a quick question about lunch and then a couple follow-ups from last week. About the lunch, President Obama reportedly told President Biden ahead of 2020, “you don’t have to do this, Joe. You really don’t.” Can you say if a similar message was shared today?

DALTON: I can’t and I don’t know what you’re referring to.

NELSON: Ah, regarding whether he should continue to serve in public life.

DALTON: I — I don’t know what you’re referring to and I don’t have any comment on it.

NELSON: Then a couple follow-ups on last week. Does the White House believe Attorney General Garland committed perjury when he testified under oath that Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss could bring charges outside of his district?

DALTON: I don’t have any comment on this. [TO ANTIA POWELL] Anita. Go ahead.

NELSON: And next, within 10 days —

DALTON: Steven, I’m moving on. [TO POWELL] Anita.

Apple polisher Mary Bruce of ABC News tried to seem tough, fretting “[p]olling continues to show this pretty large disconnect between the economic successes that you all are touting and highlighting this week and the way Americans are actually feeling about the economy”.

“Inflation and recession fears continue to be a pretty big pull on the President’s popularity, so why do you think that is and is this big rebrand going to be enough to bridge that divide and turn things around,” pleaded Bruce.

With no fear of interruption, Dalton waxed poetic about Biden’s “economic policies” of “investing in roads, bridges, and airports” and “educating and empowering workers” being “incredibly popular” that result in “grow[ing] the economy”.

Bruce’s follow-up attempted to seem tough:

And yet, despite those numbers that you just cited, I mean, according to our last poll, 54 to 36 percent say Donald Trump did a better job handling the economy when he was President than Biden has done so far. You’re not announcing anything new necessarily this week. You are just you know, sort of highlighting and touting what you’ve done. Is that enough?

Dalton went on another winding answer about how Donald Trump left the economy in the ditch (which was a result of the federal bureaucracy-endorsed mass lockdowns) and America’s recovery to prove Reaganomics was and always will be a failure.

CBS’s Ed O’Keefe picked up on this, but his questions were more pointed, demanding the White House explain their thinking behind why, if Bidenomics is “popular,” “Americans grade the President so poorly on his handling of the economy.”

After Dalton resorted to standard answers blaming the pandemic and Russia, O’Keefe called out the spin: “Some version of what you just said has been said by this White House for most of the year, so, at one point does — are the American people going to see this or are they just not paying attention to what’s being done or are they not patient enough?”

Fox Business’s Edward Lawrence upped the ante even further by wondering if Bidenomics should be known as “an era of high inflation and rising unemployment” with sectors such as the auto industry seeing layoffs (click “expand”):

LAWRENCE: So, the Federal Reserve says inflation is double that the Federal Reserve would like to say and they believe the unemployment rate will go to 4.1 percent, so how is Bidenomics not an era of high inflation and rising unemployment?

DALTON: Well, take a look at where we started and where we are now. That’s the easiest answer to your question. When we came into office with the global economic headwinds of COVID that were then compounded by the disruptions we faced when Russia invaded Ukraine and disrupted global food supply chains, global fuel supply chains, sent inflation soaring around the world. Right now, the United States is in a better position on inflation than any other major economy. And why is that? It’s because the President took a number of swift and decisive actions to make sure that we got our economy on track, that we got ourselves open and jugging along again. And, today, as consequence of that, we see record-low unemployment, record new small business starts, inflation that, again, is lower than any other major economy in the world. And we’re — we’re making progress.

LAWRENCE: But we’re seeing layoffs, specifically, talking about the auto industry. For example, Ford is saying they’re laying off workers to afford the cost of the transition to EV. The first quarter of this year, Ford lost $700 million on their EV program, $600 million last year. So, is that what we can expect from the Biden economic team?

DALTON: Well, I would just say, looking across the economy broadly, we’re seeing signs of progress. We’re seeing, as I just said a moment ago, record low unemployment, record small business starts, jobs that are coming back by the hundreds of thousands overseas as a result of private investment in clean energy manufacturing in our country. And so, certainly, we believe, broadly we are on the right track here, that Bidenomics is having a tremendous impact and we want to continue to see that progress move forward.

To see the relevant transcript from the June 27 briefing, click here.