President Joe Biden addressed the White House Correspondents’ Association on Saturday evening, the first time a president has spoken at the event in six years. The event was canceled during the pandemic and former President Donald Trump avoided the event while in office.
The president joked about the criticism he faced in his first 15 months in office, as well as the press, the opposition and Trump. “Just imagine if my predecessor came to this dinner this year,” the president said. “Now that really would have been a real coup.”
Biden joked to the media, “I’m so thrilled to be here tonight with the only group of Americans with a lower approval rating than mine.”
He also shed light on the slogan “Let’s Go Brandon”, which is used by the opposition to insult the president. “Republicans seem to support a guy, a guy named Brandon,” Biden said. “He is having a very good year. I’m happy for him.”
Biden was speaking to an audience of 2,600 people, including journalists, government officials and celebrities. Shedding light on the House Minority Leader’s recently leaked comments, Biden said, “There’s nothing I can say about the GOP that Kevin McCarthy hasn’t already recorded.”
He also had a dig at Fox News. “I know there are a lot of questions about whether we should meet here tonight because of COVID. Well, we’re here to show the country that we’re going through this pandemic. Also, everyone needs to prove he’s fully vaccinated and boosted,” Biden said. “Just contact your favorite Fox News reporter. They are all there. Vaccinated and boosted.”
In addition to speeches from Biden and comedian Trevor Noah, the event included skits from talk show host James Corden, comedian Bill Eichner and Biden himself.
“Thank you for having me here,” Noah told Biden. “And I was a little confused as to why me, but then I was told that you get your highest approval rating when a biracial African is standing next to you.”
Along with the jokes, Biden praised the role of journalism in American democracy. “I say it from the bottom of my heart, that you, the free press, matter more than ever in the last century,” he said. “You are the guardians of truth.”