President Joe Biden called a reporter a “stupid son of a [expletive]” on Monday after being asked whether rising inflation would hurt Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections.
“Do you think inflation is a political liability in the midterms?” Peter Doocy of Fox News wondered.
“It’s a great asset,” Biden responded. “More inflation.”
Doocy asked the question as White House staffers ushered reporters out of the room.
Biden then called Doocy “a stupid son of a [expletive].”
Doocy said the president called him later in the day.
“He said ‘It’s nothing personal, pal,’” Doocy said on Fox’s “Hannity.” “And we went back and forth, and we were talking about just kind of moving forward, and I made sure to tell him that I’m always gonna try to ask something different than what everybody else is asking. And he said, ‘You got to.’ And that’s a quote from the president, so I’ll keep doing it.”
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment and has not offered an apology to Doocy or Fox.
Doocey said he appreciated the call.
Biden “cleared the air and I appreciate it,” he said.
“Hey Sean, the world is on the brink of, like, World War III right now with all of this stuff going on. I appreciate that the president took a couple of minutes out this evening while he was still at this desk to give me a call and clear the air,” he added, speaking to host Sean Hannity.
Biden, who was meeting with advisers in Washington, answered one other question before Doocy’s, responding to a reporter who inquired about how discussions were going with Europe as fears grow of Russia invading Ukraine.
“The only reason I don’t like doing this is because you never report on why I’ve called a meeting, and this is important,” Biden said. “I had a very, very, very good meeting. Total unanimity with all the European leaders. We’ll talk about it later. Thank you.”
Doocy then asked whether Biden would take questions on inflation before putting forth his question.
Consumer price inflation climbed to 7 percent in the 12 months through December 2021, the fastest pace since June 1982, contributing to lower consumer confidence.
Before the meeting, Biden said that rising prices were due to a concentration of businesses in many industries, singling out the agricultural, technological, and pharmaceutical industries. He said an executive order he signed in the summer of 2021 has helped with the issue.
Biden has taken aim at Fox reporters before.
Last week, when a different one asked him why he was waiting on Russian President Vladimir Putin “to make the first move,” Biden said, “what a stupid question.”
Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.