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What does "Let's go, Brandon" mean about Joe Biden?

The phrase has burst into the political parlor in the last few months as it is used to criticize the Joe Biden presidency.

The president and first lady called to speak to Americans and thank military families.
Alex WongAFP

The date, October 2, 2021. The location, Talladega Superspeedway. The event, NASCAR. Race winner Brandon Brown was being interviewed by NBC as the crowd began chanting something that became audible to audiences at home.

"Brandon, you also told me — as you can hear the chants from the crowd, 'Let's go, Brandon' — Brandon, you told me you were gonna kinda hang back those first two stages and just watch and learn", said Kelli Stavast, telling the driver what the crowd was saying.

Whether by accident or to deflect the real chant, the crowd was actually chanting, "F**k Joe Biden."

Now, the chant has become a rallying cry to insult the president, even featuring in the annual calls to families on Christmas Eve.

Conservatives latch on

Conservative media and politicians have used the phrase frequently to avoid obvious media rules on foul language.

Ben Shapiro, conservative media commentator, told Insider, "The chant is simply a hilarious recognition that a huge swath of the American people believe something the media simply are unable or unwilling to understand. It underscores both general opposition to Biden's policies and the large-scale contempt the right has for a media infrastructure that ignores them or willfully misinterprets them. It's a fantastic in-joke."

But the 'joke' goes far beyond news sites and internet forums, it has brokjen into the mainstream political disucssion in the US.

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz mentioned it on a conservative podcast, calling it "one of the funniest things I've ever seen", while another Congressman, Representative Florida Bill Posey of Florida, ended a speech on the House floor with a "Let's go, Brandon!" and a fist pump.

The presidency responds, sort of

Back in November, reporter Peter Alexander asked at a White briefing, “Across this country, we’ve seen the new phenomenon lately, chanted at sporting events and on signs, the phrase is ‘Let’s go Brandon,’ a sort of code for a profane slogan attacking President Biden,” reporter Peter Alexander asked at a White briefing back in November, asking, “What does the president make of that?”

“I don’t think he spends much time focused on it or thinking about it,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki replied.


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