On Thursday morning, while previewing an upcoming speech from former Vice President Joe Biden on coronavirus, MSNBC correspondent Mike Memoli gushed that the global pandemic and Trump administration response would “gift wrap” a political “opportunity” for the Democratic frontrunner.
“When the former Vice President addressed briefly the coronavirus in his election night remarks on Tuesday, he called this a presidential moment....I don’t think the Biden campaign could have expected that the White House, that President Trump would essentially gift wrap them such an opportunity,” Memoli excitedly proclaimed during the 10:00 a.m. ET hour.
The reporter promoted the speech as a chance to “offer voters a really side by side comparison of the type of presidential leadership Joe Biden would offer, and has experienced in the White House eight years himself, versus what we see from President Trump.”
Memoli went further and cited “A Biden campaign aide telling me today that this speech will be presidential, not political.”
In the 1:00 p.m. ET hour, Biden delivered his supposedly “not political” address, which featured this kind of nasty, partisan rhetoric:
And unfortunately, this virus laid bare the severe shortcomings of the current administration. Public fears are being compounded by a pervasive lack of trust in this president, fueled by adversarial relationships with the truth that he continues to have. Our government’s ability to respond effectively has been undermined by hollowing out our agencies and disparagement of science. And our ability to drive a global response is dramatically, dramatically undercut by the damage Trump has done to our credibility and our relationships around the world. We have to get to work immediately to dig ourselves out of this hole.
Later in the 3:00 p.m. ET hour, Memoli showed up again to praise the speech and gloss over the blatant politicization of a worldwide health crisis: “Today, the substance was important of course, and he released a plan that was more than 7,000 words long, but this was about Joe Biden modeling, frankly, presidential behavior to the country at a time when he and his campaign believe that that is lacking in the White House right now.”
Memoli emphasized: “And so that’s really the message Biden’s trying to send today, to show the country what presidential leadership looks like.”
Apparently MSNBC is fine with a political candidate exploiting a virus for political gain as long as that candidate is a Democrat.
Here are transcripts of Memoli’s March 12 reports:
MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson
10:33 AM ET
KASIE HUNT: In just a couple of hours, Joe Biden is set to deliver remarks on the coronavirus from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. The latest move from his campaign to address the outbreak and to counter President Trump. And the first time we’re hearing from the Democratic frontrunner since his election night victories earlier in the week. Both he and Bernie Sanders have been off the trail since Tuesday, forced to cancel public rallies and campaign events because of public health concerns.
NBC News road warrior Mike Memoli is in Wilmington, Delaware ahead of Biden’s speech. Mike, we know that this speech was planned long before the President announced he was going to address the country from the Oval Office, as he then did last night. There are so many questions swirling about the administration’s response, they’re coming from Democratic lawmakers, also Republican lawmakers. Walk us through kind of how the Biden campaign is thinking about this, and frankly, their place in trying to reassure a nervous public.
MIKE MEMOLI: Yeah, Kasie, when the former Vice President addressed briefly the coronavirus in his election night remarks on Tuesday, he called this a presidential moment. But as you indicate,I don’t think the Biden campaign could have expected that the White House, that President Trump would essentially gift wrap them such an opportunity, when they scheduled these remarks, to do what they’ve been really wanting to do for this entire campaign. Which is offer voters a really side by side comparison of the type of presidential leadership Joe Biden would offer, and has experienced in the White House eight years himself, versus what we see from President Trump.
A Biden campaign aide telling me today that this speech will be presidential, not political. That Biden will offer some clear-eyed – be clear-eyed about the challenges that we face in dealing with the coronavirus and offer thoughtful ideas about how to address it. And it’s also a moment where they say where he will give voters a really look at how Joe Biden would address challenges as president.
Now, we’ve seen the Biden campaign in the last few days obviously have to adjust their own campaign style because of the coronavirus. The Biden campaign announced yesterday a six member advisory committee on the coronavirus that will work with the campaign to deal with how they should be addressing this, how he should be campaigning in the future. It includes Lisa Monaco, who was a Homeland Security adviser in the Obama administration, also the former Surgeon General, a number of other top medical officials.
And Kasie, you know, as Biden has to retool his campaign, he’s not going to be able to go and be on the trail in the way he used to be. He’s going to have virtual events. He’s really at the moment where he wants to be seen as the next likely president of the United States and this gives him an opportunity to do that.
HUNT: Alright, Mike Memoli, thank you very much my friend. I’m sure we’ll be checking in with you throughout the day.
MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi
MIKE MEMOLI: Since Joe Biden got into this presidential race, he said all along that he would not have run for president this time if not for the fact of who is in the White House right now, and that is Donald Trump. And at times in this campaign, beyond the substance and the policy rollouts, he’s presented himself really to Democrats as sort of a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency option here in dealing with President Trump. And that’s, I think, what we’ve seen here in the last few days as he’s reacted to the coronavirus situation.
Today, the substance was important of course, and he released a plan that was more than 7,000 words long, but this was about Joe Biden modeling, frankly, presidential behavior to the country at a time when he and his campaign believe that that is lacking in the White House right now.
And this plan that he released dealt with a number of things that Biden has a lot of experience with as the vice president, both in overseeing the economic recovery package that was so important, but also in the ebola response. His former chief of staff Ron Klain was the point person in the White House for doing this.
So as Biden himself said, this plan that he’s releasing today is not something that can wait ten months until he’s potentially in the White House as president of the United States, it’s something that he said President Trump is free to adopt on his own right now. And so that’s really the message Biden’s trying to send today, to show the country what presidential leadership looks like.