'No Disrespect,' Says Caller Who Mentioned 'Brandon' to Biden

Online reaction to livestreamed slur isn't forgiving
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2021 5:50 PM CST
'No Disrespect,' Says Caller Who Mentioned 'Brandon' to Biden
President Biden and first lady Jill Biden speak with the NORAD Tracks Santa operation on Friday night.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Jared Schmeck and his family call the NORAD Santa tracker every Christmas Eve. This year was different. They didn't get Santa on the phone, but the Bidens were on the line, the Oregonian reports. And the event was livestreamed, which Schmeck said he wasn't expecting. The call went smoothly until the end, after his children discussed the Christmas gifts they wanted. Schmeck then wished the first couple a merry Christmas and added, "And Let's Go Brandon!" That brought a wince from Jill Biden and a "Let's Go Brandon, I agree" from President Biden.

The online reaction to what's become a profane anti-Biden meme began with his wife's Instagram post. "My husband may or may not have just told joe and jill Biden 'let’s go Brandon’ on the phone," she posted, adding two crying emojis. "Imagine being a grown man so infantile and disrespectful that you say the slur 'Let's Go Brandon' to the president in front of your own kids and dozens of others. This is a sad time," one tweet read. Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell also weighed in. "I refuse to believe we are this indecent as people," he tweeted. "Not on Christmas Eve. And not to a person who lost his wife and daughter at Christmastime."

Schmeck said it was a joke that he didn't intend to be vulgar. "I mean no disrespect to him," said the father of four, who contended "I have nothing against Mr. Biden, but I am frustrated because I think he can be doing a better job." Schmeck said he's received threatening phone calls since Friday night. Despite the criticism, he said he stands behind his comment to the president, per Deadline. "There's no animosity or anything like that," said Schmeck of Central Point. "It was merely just an innocent jest to also express my God-given right to express my frustrations in a joking manner. ... I love him just like I love any other brother or sister." (More Let's Go Brandon stories.)

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