Matt Gaetz Mocks Biden's Press Conference Performance: 'Like a Sad Melodrama'

Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz mocked President Joe Biden's first press conference performance on Saturday, likening it to a "sad melodrama."

"When you watch a Trump press conference, it really is reality television. It's visceral and reactive, and sometimes a little catty and mean. But when you watch Joe Biden it's like a sad melodrama where the actor sort of goes off script," Gaetz said during an interview with Fox News Saturday.

"I just wish Joe Biden would give up on the war in Afghanistan, or the war in Syria, or the war on drugs the way he gives up on his own sentences," he added.

Gaetz, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, has previously railed against Biden for his age and accused him of lacking the mental capacity to run the country. Last month, the Florida Republican said that Democrats elected him because he's "too frail" to stop their progressive agenda.

Gaetz's most recent comments come after Biden gave his first press conference since becoming president on Thursday. The appearance came nine weeks after Biden was sworn into office, marking the longest delay of a formal press conference from any modern president.

The conference lasted for over an hour and covered a range of issues, including immigration, plans for U.S. manufacturing, the filibuster, and the country's future relationship with China and Russia.

Matt Gaetz
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) railed against Biden's first press conference, comparing it to a "sad melodrama." Here, Gaetz addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference being held in the Hyatt Regency on February 26, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Biden was asked a total of 10 questions from 25 reporters – but the president has since faced backlash from Republicans for using a "cheat sheet" that appeared to include the names and pictures of the reporters.

"Joe Biden had a cheat sheet with the names and faces marked of which journalists to call on, and he knew EXACTLY what questions would be asked of him. That was not a press conference—that was a play put on by bad faith actors in a pseudo-democracy," far-right activist Candace Owens said on Twitter after the marathon press conference.

Trump also railed against Biden during an interview with Fox News, calling the press conference "very sad," and accusing the media of fielding softball questions at his successor.

"They're feeding him questions. They're easy questions—I notice [Fox News reporter] Peter Doocy didn't get to ask a question today—and there could be no difficult questions.

"They're ready to rip the microphone away if somebody did get a little bit testy. The whole thing is ridiculous," Trump said to host Laura Ingraham.

Others were quick to defend the Democratic president, calling his note cards "professional" and a sign of "true leadership."

"I'm glad Biden uses notes to make sure his information is accurate and his communication is clear. ANYONE who does public speaking knows how important it is to be precise and accurate. He's the leader of the most powerful country and people hang on every word he says," said entrepreneur Lili Balfour.

During his opening remarks on Thursday, Biden touted the success of his administration's COVID-19 vaccine rollout, and created a new goal of inoculating 200 million Americans in his first 100 days in office.

In total, Biden mentioned Trump eight times, taking several jabs at the former president when asked about immigration. The president also added that he plans to run for re-election in 2024.

"Yes, my plan is to run for reelection. That's my expectation," Biden said, adding that he would expect Vice President Kamala Harris to join him again on the ticket.

Newsweek contacted a representative for Gaetz and the White House for additional comment, but did not hear back in time for publication.