Biden floats National Guard deployment as way to ease supply chain bottlenecks

As the nation’s supply chain crisis rages on, and the threat of empty store shelves during the holiday shopping season looks all too real, President Joe Biden this week floated the idea of deploying the National Guard to ease the shortage of truck drivers that is exacerbating the problem, as the Daily Caller reports, only to be quickly contradicted by his own staff.

During a CNN town hall event on Thursday, moderator Anderson Cooper asked Biden whether the National Guard could indeed be part of the solution to the logistical woes plaguing the country, eliciting an affirmative response from the president, who also claimed that discussions on the topic have been underway.

Referencing steps the administration has already taken to increase hours of operation at West Coast shipping ports and retail giants including Walmart, Biden told Cooper, “First of all, I want to get the ports up and running and get the railroads and the railheads and the trucks in port ready to move, because I’ve gotten Walmart and others to say we’re going to move stuff off of the port into our warehouses.”

When pressed by Cooper on the issue of potentially using the National Guard to address the trucker shortage, Biden answered, “Yes, if we can’t move – increase the number of truckers, which we’re in the process of doing.”

However, as Fox News noted, it was not long before White House officials were forced to backtrack on what their boss said just hours earlier, with one such source telling CNN, “Requesting the use of the National Guard at the state level is under the purview of governors, and we are not actively pursuing the use of the National Guard on a federal level.”

Not surprisingly, Biden’s comments on deploying the National Guard were not the only ones that required clarification or outright reversal by the White House the day after the town hall.

Administration officials on Friday were forced to clean up the president’s statement to Cooper that the United States had an obligation to defend Taiwan if China were to invade its boundaries, even though prevailing American policy on the issue has, for decades, left that question unanswered, as ABC News noted.

After Biden’s remarks prompted a stern response from China’s foreign ministry, which warned the U.S. “to be cautious in words and deeds” and to “refrain from sending any wrong signal to secessionists,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki took pains to explain that “the president was not announcing any change in our policy, nor has he made a decision to change our policy.”

Given the commander in chief’s apparently spotty grasp of his own administration’s policy stances and the limits on its own powers, the need for officials to continually act as cleanup agents for his ill-informed ramblings really does beg the question of just who is running the show at the White House.