Joe Biden’s National Press Secretary T.J. Ducklo repeatedly refused to answer simple “yes or no” questions on Thursday night during a segment of Fox News’s “Special Report.” It was one of the few times in Biden’s entire campaign that a representative has responded to real-time inquiries from any non-leftist corporate media.
Ducklo not only dodged Baier’s questions repeatedly, he refused to say whether Biden uses a teleprompter to feed him replies when he does corporate media interviews. Ducklo also falsely claimed Biden did not early this year condemn President Trump’s decision to close travel from coronavirus-infected areas, a decision credited with saving tens of thousands of American lives.
Ducklo joined Baier to discuss journalist Bob Woodward’s allegations that President Trump tried to “downplay” the virus, but the conversation quickly intensified when Baier asked what Biden would have done to handle COVID-19 differently.
“Joe Biden has said he wouldn’t have closed the travel from China. What specifically would the former vice president have done?” Baier asked.
“The vice president was not against the travel ban,” Ducklo claimed. “Let’s remember an important distinction: Donald Trump was the president of the United States. It was on Donald Trump to take action to actually protect the American people.”
Baier pressed into Ducklo’s heated response by clarifying his question.
“You’re saying, yes, [Biden] was for the China travel ban when the president implemented it 48 hours after receiving that briefing?” Baier asked. “Yes or no?”
“Brett, I know that you all like to cite the travel ban and I know the president likes to cite the travel ban but,” Ducklo began, skirting the question.
Baier interrupted Ducklo: “No, no, no. The president does.” Baier said. “That’s why I’m bringing it up. Obviously it’s going to be in the debates.”
Despite Ducklo’s insistence that Biden “was not against the travel ban,” Biden publicly and repeatedly condemned it back in February, accusing the Trump administration’s coronavirus mitigation steps of being full of “hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering.”
We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 1, 2020
The “Special Report” interview continued after the heated exchange, but when Baier asked another “yes or no” question about Biden’s use of a teleprompter, Ducklo, once again, avoided it and declined to provide a straightforward answer.
“Has Joe Biden ever used the teleprompter during the local interviews, or to answer Q&A with supporters?” Baier asked.
“I’m not going to allow Trump campaign to funnel their questions through Fox News,” Ducklo said, attacking the network.
Ducklo continued to insult Baier and Fox News, accusing them of “finding excuses” for Trump after Baier pointed out that even Dr. Anthony Fauci says there were no ” discrepancies” between what Trump said to Woodward and what he said in public.
“I know that you all are working overtime to try to find excuses for this president,” Ducklo said.
Baier took to Twitter on Thursday night to ask for suggestions as well as clarify that he is “not a ‘shill’ for either campaign.”
“I’m asking each campaign questions in the news their candidates WILL eventually face in a debate or on the trail & pushing back w/ their opponents’ criticisms,” he wrote.
Thoughts on the show? Suggestions? And no.. I'm not a "shill" for either campaign.. (see tweets from both sides below) I'm asking each campaign questions in the news their candidates WILL eventually face in a debate or on the trail & pushing back w/ their opponents' criticisms
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) September 10, 2020
Ducklo received backlash on social media for his poor responses, with many speculating that he would not be returning to TV anytime soon and might even be fired.
Word of advice to the Biden campaign. Don’t roll out Tj Ducklo to do anymore interviews.
— Lo Keys (@LoKeys910) September 11, 2020
TJ Ducklo telling @BretBaier he's being fed questions by the Trump campaign sounds just like something a whiny CNN or Washington Post reporter, or a person at you-know-where would say.
It's prepubescent nonsense.
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) September 10, 2020
As @TDucklo should know, the correct answer is, “No, of course not. How can anyone who needs a teleprompter to answer questions be running for President of the United States?”
— JD Rucker (@JDRucker) September 11, 2020
So I guess TJ Ducklo won’t be going back on TV.
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) September 10, 2020
TJ Ducklo is likely not going on television again. Yikes.
— Josh Holmes (@HolmesJosh) September 10, 2020
TJ Ducklo is so fired after that Bret Baier interview
— Kelb Hull (@CalebJHull) September 10, 2020