I rolled my eyes as Dana Perino used an interview with Dr. Jill Biden to run through a litany of of anti-Biden talking points from Team Trump/Fox, but I later concluded that was the right thing to do.
Perino’s first question in the 13-minute interview was straight out of the rightwing playbook: Suggesting Joe Biden does not want to debate Trump. Then, citing an editorial by Bill Clinton Secretary Joe Lockhart advising Biden not to, Perino asked, “Do you think it’s unhelpful for other Democrats to suggest that Joe Biden shouldn’t debate the president?” That set up Biden either to support Democrats who think Biden should not debate or to attack other Democrats.
Dr. Biden skated away nicely. She said her husband will “be there” for debates and that “Joe will make up his own mind” on the subject.
Then, Perino used her supposed admiration for Jill Biden’s book as a pretext to promote another Trump talking point:
PERINO: All right. Your book, “Where the Light Enters,” such an expression of love for family and you are fiercely protective of all of them, including your husband. One of the things President Trump and his campaign has questioned is your husband’s cognitive ability.
Perino played a clip of Trump saying Biden is “not competent” nor sharp and tough enough to be president and “doesn’t even come out of his basement.” “What do you think about that characterization?" Perino asked.
And so on.
Later, the two discussed other issues, such as Dr. Biden’s faith and working out during COVID-19.
But even though we know it’s unlikely a Fox host would roll through Biden attacks during a Trump interview in reciprocal fashion, I came to see this as a smart move by Perino and a potential benefit to Biden. For one thing, the right-wing talking points are Fox viewers’ daily bread-and-butter. Those are probably the questions they want to see asked of someone they are primed to dislike (or worse). Then, that gave Biden the opportunity to answer and counter the propaganda.
Biden did not seem like she was trying to counter any Fox propaganda. Her answers seemed more genuine and thoughtful than scripted. And kind. You know she would never wear a jacket with "I really don't care. Do U?" written on it, whether she becomes first lady or not.,
What do you think? You can watch it below, from the August 4, 2020 The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino.