President Biden aimed three numbered messages at three specific audiences during Sunday afternoon remarks on Afghanistan. This reflects his careful navigation of the backlash surrounding his strategy when it comes to the withdrawal and evacuation efforts.
To his conservative audience who are already concerned about immigration, he reassured viewers that “planes taking off from Kabul are not flying directly to the United States. They’re landing at U.S. military bases and transit centers around the world.”
To moderates in both parties: “Number two, at these sites where they’re landing, we are conducting … security screenings for everyone who is not a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. Anyone arriving in the United States will have undergone a background check.”
To progressives: “Number three, once screened and cleared, we will welcome these Afghans, who helped us in the war effort over the last 20 years, to their new home in the United States of America. Because that’s who we are. That’s what America is.”