Joe Biden’s Democratic presidential campaign apologized after he wandered off camera on Friday during a glitch-plagued livestream event.
The campaign emailed viewers after the Facebook livestream was derailed by multiple production failures and apparent on-screen gaffes by Biden, according to Breitbart News.
“Tonight, you tuned in to our first ever virtual town hall. And unfortunately, we had some technical difficulties. That’s our bad,” the campaign said in the email.
“We’re working every day to make this campaign better. And in this new era, we are experimenting with new technology. We promise to do better next time.”
The Biden campaign also posted an edited version of the livestream to YouTube.
Bipartisan bashing for Biden “virtual town hall”
Commenters on both the political left and right ripped Biden’s “virtual town hall,” which was supposed to be a stand-in for a Friday campaign event in Chicago that was canceled over coronavirus fears.
The Verge described the Zoom-hosted livestream as a “technical nightmare,” and CNN called it a “technical calamity.” In its headline about the event, Fox News described it like a terminally ill patient.
Jordan Uhl, a liberal activist and political consultant, mocked the “bizarre, meandering livestream.” He noted that Biden at one point turned away from the camera and walked off screen while answering a question about endangered species.
At another point, as Uhl also noted, Biden struggled to say how many years it would be until the next president takes office.
In a bizarre, meandering livestream put on by Joe Biden's campaign today, he forgets what year it is and when, if he doesn't lose, he would be in office.
At another point, he seemingly forgets he's on a live stream and walks out of frame. The feed cuts away to a logo instead. pic.twitter.com/yM2zFoBfhv
— jordan (@JordanUhl) March 14, 2020
Zach Parkinson, the deputy director of communications for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, shared a clip from the livestream on Twitter. He called it a “complete disaster.”
This is part of the virtual town hall the Biden campaign wouldn't post
Garbled/cut out audio, blank screens, randomly going live to unsuspecting participants
A complete disaster pic.twitter.com/eLGgHyPm91
— Zach Parkinson (@AZachParkinson) March 14, 2020
After less than five minutes, the virtual town hall was aborted with apologies from Biden.
“I’m sorry this has been such a disjointed effort here because of the connections,” he said before signing off. “There’s a lot more to say, but I’ve already probably said too much to you.”