Mainstream media outlets came under fire Monday night for ignoring President Biden’s attack against former President Donald Trump and Republicans during a press conference in Brussels, despite ripping Trump in 2019 for waging a political attack of a similar nature overseas.
Biden blasted Trump’s “phony populism” in response to a reporter’s question about what Biden has said to allies who may be wary of trusting the U.S. in a post-Trump era.
“The Republican Party is vastly diminished in numbers,” Biden added, “the leadership of the Republican Party is fractured, and the Trump wing of the party is the bulk of the party, but it makes up a significant minority of the American people.”
His comment appeared to violate a long-held bipartisan tradition that “politics stops at the water’s edge.” Trump faced significant media backlash in 2019 for speaking out against Biden while on a foreign trip to Japan. The Biden campaign at the time called Trump’s attack on his political opponent while overseas “beneath the dignity of the office.”
NBC’s Chief Washington correspondent Andrea Mitchell wrote at the time that “typically traditionally, politics stops at the water’s edge. Presidents do not take aim at their political rivals on the world stage and yet President Trump did break with norms in doing that. Took direct aim at Joe Biden.”
At the time, the New York Times tweeted out an article detailing Trump’s remarks with an accompanying caption that read, “American officials in the past have made a point of leaving domestic politics behind when traveling abroad. Not so in the age of Trump and Twitter.”
Politico’s national political report Marc Caputo scolded Trump for breaking “established norms” by taking direct aim at Biden.
NBC’s White House correspondent Geoff Bennett Biden lauded the Biden campaign for waiting “for Trump to return from his trip abroad before issuing a response, in a nod to politics stopping at the water’s edge.”
None of the reporters who criticized Trump have yet spoken out on Biden’s breaking this political tradition.
On Monday, however, Biden and his ardent media protectors appeared to have changed their tune, overlooking Biden’s repeated overseas attack of Republican. This apparent flip-flop didn’t go unnoticed by some on social media.
“I’m old enough to remember when trashing the opposite political party overseas was a norms-breaking five-alarm fire,” NewsBusters’ Curtis Houk wrote.
“I really don’t know why a NATO summit is the proper venue for the president to ruminate on failings of the party out of power in the United States,” MSNBC commentator Noah Rothman agreed.
“So much for politics ending at the water’s edge… Where are “muh norms” people?” Mike Howell of The Heritage Foundation noted.
During the 2020 election, the Biden campaign criticized then President Trump for slamming Biden while he was traveling abroad.
Biden’s then-deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield told Fox News that Trump’s foreign attack of Biden is “part of a pattern of embracing autocrats at the expense of our institutions—whether taking Putin’s word at face value in Helsinki or exchanging ‘love letters’ with Kim Jong Un.”