Conservative Twitter accounts blasted CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper for his on-air “softball” interview with President Joe Biden that was featured on Tuesday’s “CNN Tonight.”
During the on-air interview, Tapper and Biden covered a range of subjects including how the president has been dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the possibility of a U.S. recession in the near future, and potential federal charges against his son, Hunter Biden.
However, critics said Tapper went too easy on Biden, pointing out that he didn’t ask the president about the “disaster” at the border, the “unprecedented crime wave” in America, or press Biden on being a recession denier.
(During the interview, Biden denied that the U.S. is currently in a recession, warning that it could see a slight one. Though traditional metrics indicated the country is in one.)
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Though many of the complaints of the softball interview were directed at Tapper treating Biden’s son Hunter with kid gloves and not pressing the president on any of the scandals about his son, beyond mentioning he might be investigated by the feds.
During that portion of the interview, Tapper asked, “Our reporting, CNN’s reporting and The Washington Post reporting, suggests that prosecutors think they could – they have enough to charge your son Hunter for tax crimes and a false statement about a gun purchase. Personally and politically, how do you react to that?”
Biden vouched for Hunter as a prodigal son who has changed his ways. He said, “Well, first of all, I’m proud of my son. This is a kid who got, not a kid – he’s a grown man. He got hooked on – like many families have had happen – hooked on drugs. He’s overcome that. He’s established a new life.”
After saying he’s “proud” of Hunter, Biden claimed, “I didn’t know anything about [the gun].” He then closed that topic, saying, “So I have great confidence in my son. I love him and he’s on the straight and narrow, and he has been for a couple years now. And I’m just so proud of him.”
Tapper said nothing else on the subject. He moved on to the topic of Biden’s age. There was no question about the Hunter Biden laptop.
The Federalist editor-in-chief Mollie Hemingway torched Tapper, tweeting, “I’m trying to imagine a gentler, easier, softer, less journalistic question than the one asked by CNN’s Russia collusion hoaxer and Democrat activist @jaketapper, but it’s impossible.”
New York Post columnist Miranda Devine tweeted, “Don’t tell me there was no question about the millions of dollars the Biden family raked in from China, Russia, Ukraine etc while Joe was VP? No question about Hunter paying his bills?”
NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham tweeted, “Biden didn’t address the criminal charges at all. Because Tapper’s open-ended softball question didn’t make him.”
In another tweet, Graham slammed Tapper more forcefully, saying, “SORRY. But this question is NOT good enough. ‘How do you react to that?’ is going to get the same ‘Gosh, he wrote about all this stuff in his memoir’ answer. Just ask about something else if you can’t elicit a stronger answer. This is standard soft-serve CNN, not hard-news CNN.”
Graham also hit Tapper for not grilling him on the recession. He tweeted, “This is not ‘Facts First.’ Tapper should be pressing on why he’s being a gaslighting Recession Denier. Not joining him in Recession Denial.”
Heritage Foundation communications expert John Cooper remarked, “My goodness, that was a softball interview of Biden.”
Attorney and legal analyst Jonathan Turley provided analysis on this part of the interview, tweeting, “…What was most striking about the Tapper interview was what was not addressed. Nothing on a multimillion dollar influence peddling scheme by the Biden family or direct references to the President as a recipient of some of the proceeds…”
He continued, “…Nothing on the glaring factual contradictions of the President’s denial of any knowledge of these dealings or his repeated past claims that Hunter did nothing wrong…”
Turley added, “…Even on the addiction defense voiced by the President, there was no effort to get the President to explain why, if Hunter was a hopeless and clueless addict, foreign interests were clamoring to give him millions and how he was able to manage multimillion dollar deals.”
Just prior to the interview, conservative columnist Tim Young put out a prescient tweet on how easy Tapper would go on Biden. He wrote, “Jake Tapper is going to have a sit down interview with Joe Biden this week… so I’m sure he’ll be asking all the tough questions, like what type of ice cream Biden’s been eating…”
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And Former senior advisor to President Donald Trump, Stephen Miller, asked, “How is it possible Tapper didn’t ask Biden about the gravest and deadliest border disaster in American History? Or the unprecedented crime wave seizing our cities?”