In a series of tweets posted Monday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) criticized President Joe Biden for not speaking more off the cuff to the media and went as far to question whether the president was even in “charge” at all, parroting an attack line that has become popular on right-wing talk shows.
Linking to a Politico article about Biden’s press strategy which described the president’s tweets as “unimaginably conventional” and the president’s public remarks “largely scripted,” Cornyn claimed it “invites the question” whether Biden is “really in charge?”
The suggestion echoes a talking point of former President Donald Trump, who during the campaign would refer to Biden as a mentally-unfit “puppet” who was being controlled by outside forces.
With Trump out of office and off Twitter, the attack line has been picked up by right- wing talk show hosts such as Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
On his show last month, Carlson claimed Biden was “fading,” “uncertain,” and “weak,” and could therefore be used as a “vessel” for “stronger forces around him.”
The president has also drawn criticism from Republicans—and even some Democrats—for the lack of press access at the border, where the flood of migrants has devolved into a crisis.
The White House did not immediately respond to Forbes’ request for comment Monday.
“Our communications strategy is based on innovation in the digital space, flooding the zone in regional and coalitions press, and effectively using traditional national media,” deputy communications director Kate Berner told Politico.
Biden has held just one formal press conference so far, which came on day 65 of his presidency, though he is slated to hold another on Friday. No president since Calvin Coolidge has waited as long as Biden did to hold his first news conference, according to The Atlantic, though modern-day presidents have typically given less pressers.
Before he was kicked off Twitter following the Capitol riot, Trump frequently used the platform to speak directly to his supporters, sometimes rattling off more than 100 tweets in a day.