Administration

Holiday caller to Biden: ‘Merry Christmas and let’s go Brandon’

A man who called in to the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s (NORAD) annual holiday Santa tracking program wished President Biden and first lady Jill Biden a Merry Christmas on Friday before saying “let’s go Brandon,” a slogan that has become popular among supporters of former President Trump as a veiled insult toward Biden.

A father, identified as Jared, called into the NORAD line and had a brief conversation with Biden. He was calling on behalf of his four children, according to CNN.

“Well, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas,” Biden told the man.

“Yeah, I hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas as well. Merry Christmas and let’s go Brandon,” the man said.

“Let’s go Brandon, I agree,” Biden responded.

The slogan went viral following an October NASCAR event. During an interview after the event, an NBC Sports reporter mistakenly said the crowd was chanting “Let’s go Brandon,” in support of NASCAR driver Brandon Brown, when in actuality they could be heard in the background chanting “f— Joe Biden.”

Leading figures on the right, including some GOP congressional lawmakers, have since adopted the slogan as a way to criticize Biden.

Last month, Vermont’s Republican Party scheduled a “Let’s go Brandon” rally in the city of Brandon, Vt. The group said hats, T-shirts and bumper stickers would be sold to raise money for the state party.

The party also said some of the proceeds would go to the Brandon area’s Emergency Food Shelf.

In October, the Trump campaign dispatched an email offering T-shirts that read “Let’s Go Brandon” to individuals who donated at least $45.

“You’ve probably heard it being chanted anywhere patriotic Americans get together. Well now, President Trump has put America’s favorite new phrase on a custom shirt. That’s right. President Trump has just authorized the release of his brand-new, limited-edition ‘LET’S GO BRANDON’ shirts,” the email read, in part.

Brown and NASCAR, however, have both tried to distance themselves from the slogan. The driver told The New York Times for an article published earlier this week that he has “zero desire to be involved in politics.”

“Our whole navigation is, you want to appeal to everybody, because, all in all, everybody is a consumer,” Brown added.

NASCAR President Steve Phelps last month said the motorsports group does not “want to associate ourselves with politics, the left or the right.”

Friday’s incident came as the Bidens were taking part in the White House tradition of calling in to NORAD to see where Santa is.

Earlier in the day, the first couple went to the Children’s National Hospital to visit with hospitalized children and their families and read a Christmas story.

The Hill reached out to the White House for comment.

Tags Donald Trump Jill Biden Joe Biden Let's Go Brandon NORAD NORAD Tracks Santa North American Aerospace Defense Command

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