CNN and MSNBC cut away from President Donald Trump’s Rose Garden remarks on Tuesday after he veered from an announcement about the situation in Hong Kong to a lengthy campaign attack on Joe Biden and his economic and energy proposals.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer explained that they network cut away because it was “deteriorating into a campaign kind of speech.”
In his remarks, Trump tried to brand his 2020 opponent as beholden to the far left, including the policies of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but he also went from topic to topic. He complained that his vice president, Mike Pence, got little credit for his work on the coronavirus response and then launched into an attack on Biden’s son, Hunter, and his work for Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
“Where is Hunter, by the way?” Trump asked at one point.
The Hatch Act prohibits government workers from engaging in political activities in places like the Capitol and the White House, but the president is exempt.
Fox News continued to cover Trump’s remarks to their conclusion, and the other cable networks returned when the president took a few questions from reporters.
Earlier in the day, all three major cable networks covered Biden’s speech in Wilmington, DE, and Trump’s remarks might have been a response to his rival’s exposure.
Even though some reporters noted the political nature of the speech from the Rose Garden, the Biden campaign did not raise an issue with it, apparently convinced that its rambling nature wouldn’t help Trump.
“Please! We’ll help foot the bill for the taxpayers,” tweeted Andrew Bates, Biden’s rapid-response director.