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Did Biden Read From Cue Cards During Meeting With NATO Ally? What We Know

President Joe Biden has often been criticized, sometimes on false pretences, of using prompts to help him with public speeches, perhaps owing to his self-confessed reputation as a “gaffe machine.”

While photographers have caught Biden with prompts or talking points during speeches, in some cases this practice has inspired misleading stories.

In 2021, footage was shared suggesting the president was reading from a teleprompter, saying the phrase “end of quote” out loud, when it was actually part of his speech.

Similar accusations were made this week following a bilateral meeting with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Toward the start of the recorded meeting on Wednesday, Biden mentioned the U.S. and Australia, a NATO ally, “launching a new climate, minerals, and clean energy compact.” The clip of him saying this was later shared online, where it was suggested that Biden was reading directly from cue cards.

RNC Research, an account managed by the Republican National Committee, posted a video on X, formerly Twitter, on October 25, 2023, of Biden talking alongside Albanese, looking down at papers resting on his knee.

“Biden, reading pre-written remarks directly from his notecard, rambles about climate,” RNC Research stated.

This video cannot be enhanced and there appears to be no footage elsewhere to show what the papers Biden was holding said.

Biden has been central to new political agreements between the U.S. and Australian governments since 2021, developing the AUKUS partnership, a pact between the two nations and the United Kingdom; the partnership has centered on providing Australia with nuclear maritime technology capable of covert, long-range missions.

Under the tripartite deal, the nations are to share classified military capabilities, cyber and artificial intelligence, and other undersea capabilities.

It has also included aspirations, if not clearly defined or firm commitments, around increasing clean energy and net zero projects in business and industry. This is what Biden seems to be referring to in the clip on social media.

With this in mind, it appears that Biden would, or should, be well-read and knowledgeable on matters surrounding this partnership, given his long-term involvement in talks.

Biden did reveal the notes during a recording of the meeting, as he gestures for Albanese to talk, showing what appears to be highlighted sections of text within them. It suggests there could have been prompts or key elements he or his team would have been keen to introduce. The notes cannot be read from the footage.

It’s also not inconceivable that Biden spoke directly from the notes, the speech highlighted by RNC Research being slightly technical. However, the claim by RNC Research has not been properly substantiated. We can’t tell what’s in the notes or if, at that point, Biden was merely glancing at them.

RNC Research has made similarly assertive claims about Biden’s public speaking before. It alleged that at a White House event in August, he forgot the name of Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, even though this conclusion appeared to be a matter of inference rather than fact.

Source : Newsweek