Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) drew heavy criticism on Monday after suggesting in a tweet that President Biden is not really in charge in the White House because he’s not tweeting and appearing on cable news networks constantly.
In his tweet, Cornyn shared a Politico story titled “The Biden White House media doctrine: Less can be more” and quoted a passage that notes Biden has done few cable news interviews, does not tweet frequently or with off-the-cuff commentary. The article is not intended to be a criticism, just an observation of Biden’s style as president.
But Cornyn attempted to spin it into a vile criticism about Biden’s mental acuity.
“Invites the question: is he really in charge?” Cornyn tweeted.
“I can confirm that the president of the United States does not spend his time tweeting conspiracy theories, he spends his time working on behalf of the American people,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded when asked about Cornyn’s commentary at a briefing.
Psaki’s remarks appeared to be a shot at former President Trump, who was kicked off Twitter in January but spent his final months on the platform spreading misleading or false information about the 2020 election and at times shared material connected to the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Cornyn’s tweet prompted swift blowback from Democrats and political commentators who hit Cornyn for promoting conspiracy theories about whether Biden is in charge and for suggesting the current president’s lack of constant media presence is problematic given Republican senators spent four years dodging questions about Trump’s Twitter feed.
“Can the President govern without sending crazy tweets in the middle of the night, one of the highest-ranking Republicans in the Senate asks? Yes, it turns out he can,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) tweeted.
“Lord have mercy. You would think you would lauding Biden for this. So you are criticizing him for actually spending time on his actual job? Maybe you could consider doing that,” tweeted Matthew Dowd, a former aide to George W. Bush.
Invites the question: is he really in charge?
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) April 12, 2021
Can the President govern without sending crazy tweets in the middle of the night, one of the highest ranking Republicans in the Senate asks?
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) April 12, 2021
Imagine being so fucking stupid you think a president behaving competently is actually a problem.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@TheRealHoarse) April 12, 2021
Lord have mercy. You would think you would lauding Biden for this. So you are criticizing him for actually spending time on his actual job? Maybe you could consider doing that.
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) April 12, 2021
I can’t think of anything that describes the current GOP better. Everything is measured by Twitter and cable news. If you’re not doing spectacle/theater, you can’t possibly be governing.
— The Civil Liberal (@cfthepodcast) April 12, 2021
Dear John, we elected a President not a carnival barker. We were tired of the tweets, chaos and photo op "president" so we upgraded to an adult that can delegate and lead without needing fanfare. We are supportive of his leadership thus far. Get to work for the people or go away.
— 𝕄𝕖𝕣𝕣𝕪𝔾𝕙𝕠𝕦𝕝𝕖𝕕 (@merry_ghouled) April 12, 2021
Real presidents do real work. You’re probably not used to seeing that after the tv personality that did no work before. We don’t need to hear from the boss as long as the job is getting done. Thanks, Pres Biden for working hard to fix things.
— DZkat71 🇺🇸💚🏡 (@kguazzo) April 12, 2021
Yeah Biden won't even play golf!!!!! I'm so MAD!!!!
— Alex Cole (@acnewsitics) April 12, 2021
You treat being President like it is a PR gig for a game show host, that ended on January 20th
— Party of Fear (@kdevil66) April 12, 2021
Johnny- this is gonna come as a shock to you, but the American people don’t elect a President based on how frequently he or she will tweet.
Now this one’s really is gonna blow your mind, so buckle up… The President of the United States of America is supposed to lead, not tweet. pic.twitter.com/Oto4tu2Ko5
— Jo (@JoJoFromJerz) April 12, 2021
You’re up and at ‘em today giving Comrade Cruz a run for his money on worst Texas senator.
— Rachel Vindman (@natsechobbyist) April 12, 2021
The president's job is not to give interviews or to tweet. And apparently, you don't know what a senator does either.
— Muriel Vieux – #FreshVoicesRise! #GoodTrouble (@MurielVieux) April 12, 2021
As a taxpayer, a voter and a constituent I want to see my elected official working for my state and district. I don't want see my senators on cable news and social media all day. People like Ted Cruz, Jim Jordan, Lindsay Graham, John Cornyn, John Kennedy don't you have a job?
— Danielle Candela (@DanielleCandela) April 12, 2021
No, Senator Disingenuous: Biden is the President of the United States not a TV star. He has a JOB to do – something you seem to have forgotten about for yourself.
I voted for a president. Y'all had a TV star. Which begs the question: Who was really running the country?
— Drew Emery (@InlawsOutlaws) April 12, 2021