White House press secretary Jen Psaki appeared to evade a question Thursday on whether President Joe Biden’s administration would stand up to teachers unions.
Psaki objected to the framing of the question, posed by Fox News’ Kristen Fisher, which suggested there could be a binary choice between what was best for the students and the union demands. (RELATED: Psaki Refers To Space Force As ‘Plane Of Today,’ Can’t Say Whether Biden Will Keep It)
REPORTER: “If it comes down to a binary choice, who would the president choose: the kids or the teachers [unions]?”@PressSec: “I think it’s a little bit unfair how you posed that question, but the president wants schools to be open.” pic.twitter.com/ABvPoZjh8L
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 4, 2021
“Michael Bloomberg said yesterday that it’s time for President Biden to stand up and say that the kids are the most important thing and stand up to the teachers unions,” Fisher said. “If it comes down to a binary choice, and there is no indication that the teachers union in Chicago or California are willing to budge at this point, if it came down to a binary decision, who would win, the students or the teachers?”
Psaki immediately took issue with the question, calling the phrasing “unfair.”
“I think it’s unfair how you posed that question, but President Biden wants schools to be open, teachers want schools to be open, families want schools to be open, but we want to do it safely,” Psaki continued, saying that she believed all parents would be on board with opening schools but only in a safe manner.
“But the president is clear. He wants schools to open and stay open. He doesn’t want them open for a month. That’s disruptive for students, for teachers, for families, so he wants the proper steps to be taken so they can reopen and stay open,” she concluded.
CNN White House correspondent John Harwood noted the apparent dodge as well, saying that the Biden administration appeared to view that particular line of questioning as a “vulnerability.”
Biden press secretary Jen Psaki working hard to resist students vs teacher-unions frame for school re-opening choices
WH plainly sees this as political vulnerability
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) February 4, 2021