Incredible moment White House staff abruptly end Biden’s rambling Vietnam press conference mid-sentence and cut his mic

A sleepy Joe Biden saw his rambling Vietnam press conference brought to a sudden end on Sunday night with a mic cut and jazz music playing him off the stage, like he went too long in an awards speech.  

Biden was mid-flow and answering questions from journalists when he was interrupted and forced to shuffle away and head backstage. 

‘We talked about stability, we talked about the Third World, excuse me, the Southern Hemisphere has access to change. It wasn’t confrontational at all….’ Biden said as he rambled on. 

Suddenly, the booming voice of his press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, could be heard butting in.

‘Thank you everybody. This ends the press conference. Thanks everyone,’ she said as she brought the presser to a close. 

A sleepy Joe Biden saw his rambling Vietnam press conference brought to a sudden end on Sunday night with a mic cut and jazz music playing him off the stage

A sleepy Joe Biden saw his rambling Vietnam press conference brought to a sudden end on Sunday night with a mic cut and jazz music playing him off the stage 

Biden was mid-flow and answering questions from journalists when he was interrupted

Biden was mid-flow and answering questions from journalists when he was interrupted 

Suddenly, the booming voice of his press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre , could be heard butting in and thanks people for attending

Suddenly, the booming voice of his press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre , could be heard butting in and thanks people for attending

All the while, Biden continued to speak, not realizing his mic had long since been muted. 

In another bizarre twist, sleepy jazz music then began to play over the loudspeaker, with the 80-year-old still seemingly trying to answer questions as he continued to speak into the microphone.

As the president tried to answer a few more questions, the music grew louder prompting Biden to put away his leather-backed folder and shuffle offstage, disappearing behind a black curtain. 

Earlier in the press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, following the G20 summit in New Delhi, India, Biden risked upsetting his Vietnamese hosts with quotes from the Robin Williams movie Good Morning, Vietnam – which he seemed to think was a song.

The president arrived in the country after two days at the G20 summit in India and admitted he was struggling to tell if it was day or night.

‘Good evening, everyone,’ he told a press conference.

‘It’s already evening, isn’t it? It’s around the world in five days – it’s interesting.

‘One of my coworkers said, ‘Remember the famous song ‘Good Morning Vietnam’?’ Well, good evening, Vietnam’.’

In what was supposed to be a show of stamina – Biden is circumnavigating the globe in five days – he ended the 26-minute event by saying, ‘I’m going to go to bed.’ 

Biden held a press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, Sunday night after spending two days in India for the G20 Leaders' Summit. At the presser, he talked to reporters about a John Wayne movie that featured the'Indians' to make a point about climate change

 Biden held a press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, Sunday night after spending two days in India for the G20 Leaders’ Summit. At the presser, he talked to reporters about a John Wayne movie that featured the ‘Indians’ to make a point about climate change 

Biden grabbed the hand mic and left the podium at one point to address a reporter who was standing to one side of the room

Biden grabbed the hand mic and left the podium at one point to address a reporter who was standing to one side of the room 

But, Biden rambled in his speech and made a reference to Good Morning Vietnam, a movie that he said was a song. Pictured: Actor Robin Williams started in the 1987 movie

But, Biden rambled in his speech and made a reference to Good Morning Vietnam, a movie that he said was a song. Pictured: Actor Robin Williams started in the 1987 movie

Biden could be seen shuffling off stage with a folder full of notes in his hand as jazz music played

The 80-year-old president walked off stage before ultimately vanishing behind a black velvet curtain

After his mic was cut, Biden tried to speak not realizing he had been silenced. He had to shuffle off the stage as jazz music loudly played

The president had been asked if he was concerned that there was no agreement on fossil fuels that came out of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi.

He regaled reporters with a story he says is from a John Wayne movie and features the ‘Indians’ – not the ones he just met with – who don’t buy it when a Union soldier says ‘everything will be good’ if they go back to the reservation. 

‘And the Indian looks at John Wayne and points to the Union soldier and says, ‘He’s a lying dog-faced pony soldier.’ Well, there’s a lot of lying dog faced pony soldiers out there about global warming. But not anymore,’ Biden said. ‘All of the sudden, they’re all realizing it’s a problem,’ the president said, whispering into the mic.

He’s used ‘lying dog-faced pony soldier,’ once at a 2020 campaign event in New Hampshire and at an event in Connecticut in June, where he also muttered, ‘God save the Queen, man.’ 

The president’s clumsy comments were leapt on by opponents and slammed by critics as further signs that he would struggle to cope with a second term.

‘Biden gets VERY confused during his ‘press conference’ in Vietnam,’ tweeted RNC Research.

‘And Democrats wonder why Biden isn’t polling better,’ added former  Trump senior adviser Jason Miller.

Others cringed at his misplaced attempt at humor warning that his jokey reference to the Vietnam War risked upsetting a key ally in the struggle against China.

The president's misplaced stab at humor left many on social media cringing in embarassment

The president’s misplaced stab at humor left many on social media cringing in embarassment  

‘Oh good, reference the darkly satirical title of a movie about a horrible and bloody war that still looms largely in Vietnam’s psyche,’ tweeted FuriaDiDonna.

‘So he’s making a joke in Vietnam about a catchphrase (not a song) in a (great) movie that’s about the US being at war in their country??’ added Booker9e.

‘The Joe Biden Comedy Hour,’ wrote Robert Phyithree.

‘Stick around, it will only get more ridiculous and sublime.’ 

The 1987 film was one of the biggest hits of the year, telling the story of Airman Adrian Cronauer who arrived in Saigon to work as a DJ for Armed Forces Radio as the war intensified in 1965.

Starting each show with his catch phrase ‘Good morning, Vietnam!’, Cronauer, played by Williams infuriates his superiors with his rock and roll playlist and satirical commentary on their conduct of the war.

It won Williams the funniest actor prize at the American Comedy Awards and its soundtrack, featuring the Beach Boys, James Brown and the Searchers, went platinum.

Sunday’s bizarre moment came at a press conference that started more than an hour late and kicked off by the president acknowledging that his aides told him who he would be calling on.

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Opponents said the remarks added to growing questions about the president's fitness for office

Opponents said the remarks added to growing questions about the president’s fitness for office 

‘They gave me five people here,’ Biden said, returning to his custom of both calling from, and speaking about, the list apologetically. 

‘I’m just following my orders here,’ he said at another point, as he looked at his list to call another news organization or name, as reporters in the audience yelled and waved their hands frantically to be called on. 

GOOD MORNING VIETNAM 

The 1987 Vietnam War biopic was one of the biggest hits of Robin William’s career, winning him one of his three Oscar nominations for best actor. 

It tells the story of Airman Adrian Cronauer who arrived in Saigon to work as a DJ for Armed Forces Radio as the war intensified in 1965.

Starting each show with his catch phrase ‘Good morning, Vietnam!’ Cronauer, played by Robin Williams infuriates his superiors with his rock and roll playlist and satirical commentary on their conduct of the war.

It won Williams the funniest actor prize at the American Comedy Awards and its soundtrack, featuring the Beach Boys, James Brown and the Searchers, went platinum.

Williams won funniest actor in a movie prize at the American Comedy Awards for his portrayal of a disruptive DJ at the height of the Vietnam War

Williams won funniest actor in a movie prize at the American Comedy Awards for his portrayal of a disruptive DJ at the height of the Vietnam War

The questions were China-heavy and Biden skipped answering queries when they were piggybacked on another question – so he didn’t address Russia and North Korea going into business together, nor Ukraine’s discontent with the G20 statement on the war, which didn’t name Russia as the aggressor. 

The choice of journalist also appeared to have Biden mostly ignoring a group of U.S. print and TV reporters who were girding to get into domestic concerns like his low poll numbers due to his advanced age and a possible indictment of his son, Hunter, on a gun charge.

Those polls show a broad concern about his age going into a second term, with a survey last week from AP-NORC showing that 77 percent of Americans, including 69 percent of Democrats, believe Biden is too old to run for reelection

A Wall Street Journal poll out Monday had similar findings, with 73 percent of voters saying Biden is too old to run again, including two-thirds of Democrats. 

White House aides pointed to this whirlwind trip as evidence that Biden is up to the job. 

He later joked that the schedule was ‘no problem.’ 

‘I can imagine. It is evening, I’d like remind you,’ a BBC reporter quipped to the president. 

At one point, Biden grabbed the hand mic and started walking.

He moved toward the side of the stage where one of the five chosen reporters was standing, but it briefly gave the appearance he was abandoning the press conference. 

Every reporter on the list was a woman, something that wasn’t lost on a journalist from the independent U.S.-backed Voice of America. 

‘Thank you Mr. President. I hope you didn’t think that calling only on women would get you softballs tonight,’ she told him. 

The 1987 movie challenged US conduct of the Vietnam War and earned Williams an Oscar nomination

The 1987 movie challenged US conduct of the Vietnam War and earned Williams an Oscar nomination 

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Many observers suggested the president's handle on the job is only going to deteriorate

Many observers suggested the president’s handle on the job is only going to deteriorate

Biden with general secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong

Biden with general secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong

The president admitted his whirlwind schedule had left him confused over whether it was day or night

The president admitted his whirlwind schedule had left him confused over whether it was day or night 

Biden said that wasn’t the case. 

‘Oh I know better than that. If you sent me a softball, I wouldn’t know what to do with it. I’d probably strike out even worse,’ Biden joked.

After Biden answered one of the two questions posed to him by VOA, he told the journalists, ‘I tell you what, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to go to bed.’

A White House official later defended Biden’s performance saying he ‘substantively answered questions’ from several reporters during the press conference.

‘The President substantively answered questions from 7 reporters. This is a distraction, and it would do your readers a good service to dive into his answers on China, relations with Indo-Pacific countries, human rights and climate change instead,’ the official said in a statement.

Emma Colton

Janice Dean is a WSTPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Janice Dean joined WSTPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: janicedean@wstpost.com.

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