Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy took a shot at President Joe Biden’s age on Wednesday, saying his oldness showed earlier this year during White House and congressional negotiations on raising the debt ceiling.
“It was policy. It was certain decisions,” McCarthy said of his spring meetings with Biden in an interview at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit.
With extra emphasis, he added, “He talked from cards!”
The thing about talking from note cards in meetings is that it is helpful for old people. It is also helpful for young people. Notes help people to remember key points and to prepare for anticipated questions. Bringing notes to a contentious negotiation to prevent the country from defaulting on its debt and crashing the U.S. economy is probably a good idea.
But the thing that the 58-year-old former House speaker may not realise is that he, too, uses notes for talking. That’s because he and every other political leader in America rely on scripts and talking points for meetings and speeches, including House speakers, Senate leaders and past presidents.
Here is former President Barack Obama, who was a spritely 47, holding his note card for a June 2009 Oval Office meeting with then-Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Here is former President George W. Bush using notes for talking in a very important-looking Oval Office meeting in 2003, too.
Could it be that 77-year-old Donald Trump also used notes in meetings as president?
What is that piece of paper on the desk in front of him? WHAT IS THAT?
There is even photographic evidence of McCarthy reading from notes in meetings, if you can believe it. Here he is last month, during a press conference with members of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party.
Are those spectacles, sir?
Here he is in October, getting ready to nominate Representative Jim Jordan to be the next House speaker.
That didn’t work out so well for Jordan. Maybe McCarthy needed better notes.
Is the California Republican new to using notes for talking? Let’s go back a few years.
Here’s McCarthy in November 2020, gathering up the notes he just used for talking about the republican Party’s performance in the election.
Here is McCarthy leaving a private meeting with Republicans in April 2023, where he was trying to find the votes to pass the debt ceiling package he was negotiating with Biden.
What is that in his hand?
Here’s a damning piece of evidence: McCarthy spotted in an August 2022 meeting with New York lawmakers and local law enforcement ― and the only person at the table with a note card.
Of course, what would be ironic is if McCarthy was spotted in the Oval Office with a folder of papers for a meeting. But what are the chances that there is a photo from May 2021 showing th―