Support Just the News

Help Fund Honest Journalism

Donate

Aides unloaded on Joe Biden for going off script, email to son Hunter shows

"He just couldn't end the speech!" laments email on Hunter Biden laptop that gives rare glimpse into Obama White House frustration with Joe Biden's ad-libbing.

Updated: June 7, 2021 - 4:45pm

President Joe Biden has never been accused of having a gilded tongue. In fact, he once referred to himself as a "gaffe machine."

But after a meandering speech in summer 2015, his top aides let loose their frustrations in a private communication to the then-vice president's son Hunter.

"He just couldn't end the speech," senior White House aide Gregory Schultz exclaimed to the VP's youngest son, in apparent disbelief.

The newly surfaced email, recovered by Just the News from a laptop Hunter Biden left behind at a Delaware repair shop and later turned over to the FBI, provides a rare glimpse into the Biden inner circle's efforts to corral the oft-bumbling, gaffe-prone speechmaker.

"He went off script almost every 2 to 3 paragraphs, and did all the self-referential stuff we cut out," Biden speech writer Vinay Reddy wrote in frustration, attaching the final transcript of Joe Biden's July 16, 2016 speech to the Generation Progress annual convention in Washington D.C.

Reddy appeared to be particularly concerned that the vice president had ad-libbed remarks slamming Democrats for their reliance on dark money, just as the 2016 presidential race was heating up.

"This speech was pretty much everywhere, including why the Democratic Party should look to itself in curbing dark money 'not that I am talking about any particular person,'" Reddy lamented.

The email string also reveals that Hunter Biden — struggling with drug addiction, a crumbling marriage and a Ukraine business controversy — apparently weighed in on his father's speech draft.

"Hey Hunter — I know you were involved on this a little bit — so wanted to pass along from Vinay (speech writer)," Schultz wrote the Biden son. "Went great......and then he just couldn't end the speech."

Biden's rhetorical ad-libbing continues to get him in trouble, even now as the 46th president.

He was sharply criticized late last month for "creepy" comments during a Memorial Day weekend speech where he went off script to make comments about the 7-year-old daughter of a veteran.

"I love those barrettes in your hair," Biden said to the child in the audience. "Man, I'll tell you what, look at her. She looks like she's 19 years old sitting there like a little lady with her legs crossed."

Here are four of President Biden's more historically infamous speaking moments:

  • The 1987 attack on a New Hampshire voter. "I probably have a much higher IQ than you do, I suspect," Biden barked as he rattled off an academic record that, reporters later found, was mostly contrived, including an instance of plagiarism.
  • The 7-Eleven joke. Biden was lambasted in 2006 by American-Indian groups after he took a stab at ethnic humor, stereotyping Indo-Americans in a "joke" that backfired politically. "You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. And I'm not joking!" he declared.
  • Called troops "stupid bastards" and "dull." Biden raised eyebrows worldwide when during a 2016 speech with U.S. troops stationed in Abu Dhabi he became peeved they did not embrace one of his jokes. "Clap for that, you stupid bastards," the vice-president commanded. "... Man, you are a dull bunch."
  • Derided Iowa voter as "fat" and a "damn liar." When an Iowa voter challenged him on the trail in 2019, Biden let loose with a tirade. "You're a damn liar, man," Biden snapped at Merle Gorman "And by the way, I'm not sedentary. Let's do push-ups together, man, let's run, let's do whatever you want to do. Let's take an IQ test, all right?" 

Just the News Spotlight