By Curtis Houck
Editor’s note. This is excerpted from Newsbusters and is reposted with permission.
Friday’s White House press briefing sent viewers into the weekend with a bang as Fox’s Peter Doocy showed a rare moment of anger as White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre blatantly and repeatedly refused to answer his question as to whether President Biden believes in any limit to abortion.
Doocy began as he always does with a basic, rather innocuous question. This time, it touched on her opening remarks lambasting the 15-week abortion ban proposed by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “Following up on your topper, does President Biden favor any limits on abortion?”
Jean-Pierre said “[w]e’ve been very, very clear” in “talking specifically about” Graham’s plan, but Doocy interjected to push her along: “And your position on his plan is clear. 15 weeks is unacceptable.”
She then continued: “I was speaking to — directly to what Republicans are trying to do. They are calling — they are calling — they are calling for a national ban, which takes us backwards.”
Continuing to stammer her way along, Doocy fact-checked her by noting Graham’s proposal is only for 15 weeks and not an outright ban.
Jean-Pierre continued to lie, claiming “it’s a national ban, which will take us backwards and will put at risk the health of women” and would be the first step by “extreme Republican officials” in ending “privacy” and “contraception” and attacking “marriage” (as in gay and interracial marriages).
“I’m not going to get into specifics here. I’m just going to lay out what — what they have said that they’re going to do,” she hilariously added.
Doocy seized on that nonsense: “Why not get into specifics? The Republicans are saying we don’t want abortion after 15 weeks. Why can’t you say how many weeks the President thinks the limit is?”
Jean-Pierre again diverted by invoking House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and the House GOP’s Commitment to America, but Doocy wasn’t having it, saying he’s “not asking about Kevin McCarthy” and instead about “Joe Biden and his position on abortion.”
After being asked one last time “how many weeks,” Jean-Pierre filibustered with a meandering answer about Republicans “trying to take away the rights and freedoms of Americans.” Doocy tried to push back, but Jean-Pierre moved on to Bloomberg Government’s Courtney Rozen.
Doocy almost always complies when Jean-Pierre (or Jen Psaki) would move on, but not on this day as he exclaimed, “[y]ou did not answer my question”:
JEAN-PIERRE: Peter — Peter, I’m answering your question. What Republicans are trying to do is take us backwards. They’re trying to take away the rights and freedoms of Americans. That’s what we’re calling out and that’s what we’re going to continue to call out. House Republicans oppose a pharmacy bill that would deny women essential medications. As of September, 166 House Republicans have signed onto a heartbeat bill that would decide abortion at the federal level even though 28 of those members have since said decisions on abortion should be left to the states. And just this week, a Michigan GOP official said he — he — he wants to ban abortion. So, we should really listen to what Republicans are trying to tell us.
DOOCY: And —
JEAN-PIERRE: And that’s what we are speaking out against —
DOOCY: — and —
JEAN-PIERRE: — and that’s what we’re going to talk about the national ban —
DOOCY: — and we’re —
JEAN-PIERRE: — that Republicans are continuing —
DOOCY: — we are —
JEAN-PIERRE: — continuing to push when majority of Americans do not want that. I —
DOOCY: We are all covering the Republican plan.
DOOCY: I’m just wondering —
JEAN-PIERRE [TO COURTNEY ROZEN]: Go ahead. Go ahead.
DOOCY: — why can’t you say how many weeks for Biden?
COURTNEY ROZEN: Thank you, Karine.
JEAN-PIERRE [TO ROZEN]: Okay, go ahead.
JEAN-PIERRE: No. [TO ROZEN] Go ahead.
DOOCY: No. Why —
JEAN-PIERRE: I answered — I answered your question. [TO ROZEN] Go ahead. Go ahead, Courtney.
DOOCY: You did not answer my question, Karine.
ROZEN: I wanted —
JEAN-PIERRE: I did. I did.
DOOCY: Why can’t —
JEAN-PIERRE: [TO ROZEN] Go ahead, Courtney.
DOOCY: — you say —