Biden and Trump’s Different Responses to a Crying Baby Compared

While welcoming the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team to the White House on Friday, President Joe Biden was briefly interrupted by an audience member in the crowd.

The 2023 NCAA Men’s National Championship team was honored as part of a long tradition of champion sports teams visiting the White House. The Louisiana State University women’s basketball team was also honored on Friday after winning their school’s first national championship earlier this year.

Biden delivered a few remarks upon UConn’s arrival, praising the team as one of the premier college basketball programs in the country. Friday marked the Huskies’ fifth trip to the White House, one for each national title that they hold.

President Joe Biden speaks with a child in the crowd as he honors the University of Connecticut Huskies men’s basketball team to celebrate their 2023 NCAA Championship at the White House in Washington, D.C., on May 26, 2023. A video of Biden’s reaction to a child who cried during his speech on Friday has garnered comparisons to a previous video of former President Donald Trump.
Jim Watson/AFP via Getty

Shortly into the president’s remarks, a young child in attendance began to cry in the background, prompting Biden to halt his speech.

“That’s okay, look, she’s allowed to do anything you want,” Biden said, being met with laughter across the room. “Kids rule in my house, okay?”

“I don’t blame you, I’m bored with me too,” the president joked, stepping a moment away from his podium to ask how old the child was.

A clip of the interaction was shared on Twitter by the account Acyn and quickly garnered comparisons to a video of former President Donald Trump reacting to a similar interruption at a campaign rally in 2016. During the event in Loudoun County, Virginia, the former president acknowledged a baby crying in the background of his speech, telling the mother, “Don’t worry about it.”

A few minutes later, however, Trump stopped his speech again, saying, “Actually I was only kidding, you can get that baby out of here.”

“I think she really believed me that I love having a baby crying while I’m speaking,” he continued, receiving light laughter from the crowd. “That’s okay. People don’t understand.”

Chris Jackson, a county election commissioner in Tennessee, responded to a video of Biden’s reaction on Friday with a clip of Trump’s statements from 2016, commenting, “Character matters.”

An edit of Trump and Biden’s videos being paired side by side was also posted by Parker Butler, a rapid response director for the Democratic National Convention. Butler wrote alongside his video, “What a contrast.”

Political commentator Brian Tyler Cohen re-posted Butler’s edit, writing, “The difference really couldn’t be clearer.”

Trump previously received backlash for ejecting his young audience member from Virginia Senator Time Kaine, who at the time was running as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s running-mate against Trump for the 2016 presidential election.

According to a report from CNN, Kaine said after Trump’s event, “You wonder who the baby is.”

Newsweek reached out to Trump’s press team via email for comment.

Both Trump and Biden are running for reelection in the 2024 presidential election, potentially setting up a re-match of 2020. Trump’s candidacy is currently being challenged by a sea of Republican competitors, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Trump’s ex-running mate, former Vice President Mike Pence.

Early polling has largely leaned in Trump’s favor. A poll conducted May 17-20 by SSRS Opinion Panel and released by CNN on Wednesday found that the former president is the first choice among 53 percent of 1,227 Republican and Republican-leaning voters.

A separate poll released the same day by Quinnipiac University also found Trump in the lead among 669 Republican and Republican-leaning voters, winning 56 percent of the respondents’ support compared to DeSantis, who came in second place with 25 percent.

Out of the 1,819 U.S. adults that Quinnipiac surveyed overall, Biden topped Trump by just 2 percent points in a hypothetical 2024 matchup. The current president lost, however, in a race against DeSantis by 1 percent point.

A large majority of the respondents to the Quinnipiac poll—65 percent—also indicated that they think Biden is too old to effectively serve another term as president. Biden, who is already the oldest sitting president in U.S. history, would be 86 years old at the end of his second term and has faced several concerns over his mental capacity to continue to lead the country.

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On Friday, professor of political science at Macalester College Patrick Schmidt responded to a video of Biden’s interaction with the crying baby writing that the president was “Once again: Witty, spontaneous, kind.”

“But what’s the over/under on how many ‘is Biden slipping?’ headlines the media feels like it needs to run before November 2024,” Schmidt added.