The White House is being ripped for what critics saw as a pathetically weak response following what amounted to a semi-official threat from China to shoot down U.S. fighter jets along with a plane carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) if she tries to visit Taiwan during her current Asia trip.
A commentator for the Chinese government-controlled state media “Global Times” made the threatening remarks Friday on Twitter, as Conservative Brief reported.
“If US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is invasion. The PLA has the right to forcibly dispel Pelosi’s plane and the US fighter jets, including firing warning shots and making tactical movement of obstruction. If ineffective, then shoot them down,” Hu Xijin, editor of the outlet and former Chinese army officer and member of the ruling Communist Party, said.
The tweet has since been removed by Twitter for violating the platform’s dictum to always protect Democrats — or because it was threatening. We’ll let readers decide that point.
In any event, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about the threat on Friday and gave an extremely tame response.
“An official who is associated with Chinese State media is suggesting that if Speaker Pelosi tries to go to Taiwan that her plane could be shot down,” Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy said. “Does the president have a response to that?”
“I know you’re asking specifically about the rhetoric that we’re hearing from China. But as it relates to the speaker’s travels, it’s something that we’re just not going to speak to. Right now, that’s a hypothetical. We’re just not going to speak on her schedule,” Jean-Pierre responded. “As we have said multiple times, we give advice and guidance to any members of Congress where they travel … But again, I’m not going to speak to a hypothetical.”
The tame, lame response was ripped on social media.
“Unbelievable: Karine Jean-Pierre says the White House won’t respond to Chinese state media threats to shoot down Nancy Pelosi’s plane should she visit Taiwan. ‘We’re just not going to speak on her schedule.’ Abject, embarrassing weakness,” wrote Heritage Foundation communications director John Cooper in a tweet containing a clip of Jean-Pierre’s response.
Unbelievable: Karine Jean-Pierre says the White House won’t respond to Chinese state media threats to shoot down Nancy Pelosi’s plane should she visit Taiwan.
“We’re just not going to speak on her schedule.”
Abject, embarrassing weakness. pic.twitter.com/4Biw7DsqBr
— John Cooper (@thejcoop) July 29, 2022
“Low as my opinion of the Biden White House is, I’d have expected their response to a question about a hostile foreign power SHOOTING NANCY PELOSI’S PLANE OUT OF THE SKY to be something stronger than ‘if she dies, she dies,’” National Review senior writer Dan McLaughlin added. “They failed at Americaning.”
“There are no words to express how shamefully the Biden White House has caved, catered and capitulated to China,” Stephen Miller, former senior adviser to President Donald Trump, tweeted. “The damage to our power and prestige is colossal.”
Matt Gorman, vice president at the political action group Targeted Victory, blasted Democrats for not coming to the Speaker’s defense over the threat.
“Wild that Republicans are pretty much the only ones coming out defending Pelosi on this,” he wrote. “Dems are standing around with their hands in their pockets, shrugging.”
“Uh, sweetheart, you don’t have to speak to her schedule. You can and should speak to the outlandish threats by #China,” Michael D. Brown, former under secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, tweeted. “You don’t even comprehend what you’re saying. You only know what’s in your notes. China knows that, too. And your boss, @POTUS , he’s in the bag for China.”
Uh, sweetheart, you don't have to speak to her schedule. You can and should speak to the outlandish threats by #China. You don't even comprehend what you're saying. You only know what's in your notes. China knows that, too. And your boss, @POTUS, he's in the bag for China. https://t.co/1VYyfkTtSK
— Michael D. Brown (@MichaelBrownUSA) July 29, 2022