“I like kids better than people,” President Biden said Friday after getting a hug from a toddler in Connecticut while nearby protesters bellowed, “F–k Joe Biden.”
“When I talked to all your folks out on the playground, I joked that everybody knows I like kids better than people. Fortunately they like me. That’s why maybe I like them,” Biden said during a speech in Hartford.
Biden, 78, kneeled outside the Capitol Child Development Center and gave one child a hug and spoke to several others.
But the playground cheer was nearly drowned out by immigration reform activists and some supporters of former President Donald Trump.
A similar scene played out on Biden’s recent trip to New Jersey — when protesters there also gave Biden a hostile welcome.
Zolan Kanno-Youngs of the New York Times reported that “protesters standing just outside within ear shot screamed ‘F*ck Joe Biden’ and ‘Ban Title 42.’” Title 42 is a COVID-19 policy that allows the government to swiftly deport people who illegally enter the US.
NPR reporter Scott Detrow relayed in a pool note that “at one point Biden put a twisty blue tube toy on his head. As this happened you could clearly hear Trump supporters across the street yelling ‘traitor’ and ‘f— Joe Biden.’”
Protesters jeered Biden repeatedly in Connecticut: first at Hartfort’s airport, then at the childcare center and finally at the University of Connecticut, where he spoke at an event honoring former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.).
Noah Robertson of the Christian Science Monitor wrote in a pool report that “[s]ome folks flying Trump flags (‘Trump Won’ ‘F*** Biden’) waved hello outside [Hartfort’s] airport and filmed the motorcade with their phones.”
Later at the playground, Robertson wrote, “Around 50 more Trump supporters, with similarly expressive signage gathered a street away from the center. They chanted ‘F*** Joe Biden. He’s not our president.’ They also shouted ‘traitors’ as a coda while we walked inside.”
At the University of Connecticut, there were more protesters waving Trump campaign flags and holding anti-Biden signs.
One sign said “What the F— does Joe Biden know about rights?” according to a pool report.
Biden also faced heat from the left while on campus. A couple dozen students held signs with messages such as “Cuba Sends Doctors Biden Sends Bombs” and “Don’t Come to My School Unless It’s to Cancel My Debt.”
Biden made the trip to Connecticut despite no obvious strategic purpose as his legislative agenda stalls in Congress.
During his remarks at the childcare center, Biden admitted that he’s unlikely to pass his sprawling, $3.5 trillion social spending plan without significant cuts to win the support of Senate centrists.
He also joked about his own personal wealth. He said he couldn’t afford child care as a 30-year-old senator in 1973, but that he’s doing fine now with his $400,000 presidential salary.
“I’m also listed for 36 years as the poorest man in the Congress. But I make big money now that I’m the president,” Biden said.
Biden had a salary of about $200,000 per year when working as a senator until 2009 and as vice president from 2009 to 2016, but he reaped a financial windfall in the years that followed.
In 2017 and 2018, Biden and first lady Jill Biden routed $13 million in book and speech income through “S corporations” to reduce their Medicare taxes by up to $500,000 by dubiously lowballing the share of that income produced by their own labor.
Biden earned nearly $1 million from the University of Pennsylvania from 2017 to 2019 for serving as an honorary professor at the Ivy League school. He made just nine known appearances, including a November 2017 event promoting his book “Promise Me, Dad.”