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President Biden was caught using a crib sheet with scripted remarks during a meeting in the Oval Office with Iraq’s prime minister. The script included stage directions on when to pause to allow for an interpreter to translate. Biden repeatedly glanced at the script as he made his first public statement since Iran launched a direct missile and drone attack on Israel over the weekend. In contrast, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’a Al-Sudani did not use any note cards during his remarks.

During the attack on Saturday, the White House called a lid and released photos of Biden and his national security team tracking the situation in the Situation Room. Biden also spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to convey US support for Israel. The following day, Biden convened leaders of the Group of Seven nations to discuss a diplomatic response. Behind the scenes, Biden reportedly urged Netanyahu to temper any response to Iran to prevent further escalation of the conflict.

Biden expressed the United States’ commitment to Israel’s security and the desire for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip during his brief remarks on Monday. The president has a history of using note cards for impromptu comments, including one incident in April of last year where he used a card that appeared to include a question from a reporter before calling on the journalist. Biden has also relied on note cards for private fundraisers, which has caused concern among some donors.

The use of note cards by President Biden has become a recurring theme in his public appearances and private events. During a meeting with the prime minister of Iraq, Biden was seen using a scripted sheet with instructions on when to pause for translation. Despite this reliance on notes, Biden has continued to engage with world leaders and convey US support for its allies during times of crisis. Additionally, Biden has been cautious in his approach to potential conflicts, urging leaders to avoid escalating tensions.

While Biden’s use of note cards may raise questions about his ability to speak without assistance, it also highlights the importance of preparation and ensuring accuracy in his remarks. Despite criticisms, Biden has remained focused on supporting allies, promoting diplomacy, and preventing conflicts from escalating. As the president continues to navigate challenging international situations, his use of notes may be seen as a cautious approach to ensure clear communication and thoughtful responses.

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