Former government speechwriters and messaging experts are slamming President Biden over his address to the nation Tuesday, criticizing the president for his defensive delivery and contradictory statements, while the nation mourns the deaths of 13 U.S. service members and while Americans remain stranded in Afghanistan.
Biden delivered a fiery speech a day after U.S. troops fully exited from Afghanistan, taking full “responsibility” for the decision to remove troops, while also shifting blame onto former President Donald Trump and the Afghan security forces for the chaos and death that unfolded.
Biden’s speech was poorly written and even more poorly delivered, communications experts told Fox News.
Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, criticized Biden for his “defensive” delivery of the speech, which he said revealed the president’s judgment is “deeply flawed.”
“The delivery, especially the first half, was too hot. The President almost shouted every word, to the point where it was too much, too hot, and too defensive,” said Fleischer.
“More fundamentally, he’s stuck with a big problem that no speech can solve: he bungled the withdrawal and left Americans behind. He gave his word and broke it. The speech and his policies show his judgment remains deeply flawed.”
Beverly Hallberg, a media coach and president of political communications firm District Media Group, echoed that assessment to Fox News.
“The president’s angry facial expressions and raised voice didn’t match the content of his speech. His words were offensive—praising himself for the ‘biggest airlift in history’—and his body language and vocals told the true story: That this president was trying to defend the unforgiveable,” Hallberg said.
“The speech was poorly written because the goal of it was to take blame off the person, the commander-in-chief, and instead blame the Americans who were told the Taliban would never take control,” she added.
Dr. Jonathan Bronitsky, former chief speechwriter for U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr and co-founder of the D.C.-based public relations firm and literary agency ATHOS, blasted the “incoherence” of Biden’s speech, adding that the president’s delivery came across as “abrasive and defensive.”
“It’s increasingly rare for the American people to be genuinely united in sentiment, yet we are now, and rightly so, in the wake of the tragedy in Afghanistan. Stunningly then, Biden managed to further offend and alienate the nation. His inability to modulate his voice, sounding abrasive and defensive was one thing, but the sheer incoherence caused the speech to resemble little more than a progressive freshman’s term-paper rant in U.S. Foreign Policy 101.”
“As a nation, we’re mourning, we’re seeking leadership, and, frankly, we’re even embarrassed by the aimlessness of the White House and the visceral display of decaying American power. Biden, the alleged ‘Consoler-in-Chief,’ had more than enough time to prepare for yesterday’s speech, and he still failed to begin our collective process of healing and rebuilding,” Bronitsky told Fox News.
“In a public oration such as this one, it’s critical to concede failure in full, to clearly outline next steps, and then to conclude by providing an optimistic, forward-looking vision for improvement. Biden offered none of that.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday objected to characterizations of Biden’s speech as “angry.”
“I’ll give you a different assessment of what I saw, which is that he gave a forceful assessment, laid out a forceful case to the American people as to why it was time to wind down a 20-year war that has led to the loss of thousands of lives. And in his view — and I think he made a firm case of this — it’s not in our national security interest to be on the ground anymore,” Psaki told reporters.
Biden has also been criticized for declaring during the speech that the Afghanistan withdrawal was an “extraordinary success,” despite leaving Americans and Afghan allies behind in the country, which has been seized by the Taliban.
Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who handled messaging for former President Trump, slammed Biden’s speech as “callous” and “cruel,” during an interview Tuesday on “Fox Business Tonight.”
McEnany rebutted Biden stating, “This is anything but a success, and to see a ‘commander in chief’ use that terminology in the wake of all his devastation, it’s callous, it’s cruel and it’s unbecoming of anyone who holds the title of President of the United States.”