After President Joe Biden spoke with a disabled American named Brandon, some online wondered if the conversation was related to a right-wing taunt involving that name.
“Let’s Go Brandon” has become an anti-Biden war cry in recent weeks, after an NBC reporter misheard a crowd of NASCAR fans chanting “F*** Joe Biden.” Since then, conservatives have churlishly repeated the malapropism online, chanted it at sports events, and plastered it on T-shirts and billboards.
Meanwhile, President Biden has continued to travel the country promoting his Build Back Better legislation, which aims to expand America’s social safety net, among other goals. One of the things the bill would do is increase federal funding for at-home health care, including for elderly and disabled Americans.
This week, President Biden met with one such American: a wheelchair-bound man named Brandon. At an event in Mr Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Brandon told the president how important his home care aide, Lynn, is to him.
“Without her, I would not be able to have the life that I have,” Brandon said. “And there are thousands of people like me every day who without these wonderful people that work with me, would not be able to live the life that they live. They give us a substantial life.”
“And they give you hope,” the president replied.
“I thank you so much for the Build Back Better plan, and I’m here to fight with you,” Brandon went on. “You’re not alone.”
On Twitter, Mr Biden shared a video of their conversation, citing it as an example of how Build Back Better could improve the lives of average Americans.
“I’m fighting every day to pass my Build Back Better Agenda for folks like Brandon,” the president wrote. “His story is like so many I’ve heard across the country. Folks are just looking for a fighting chance and to be treated with the dignity they deserve – and that’s what my agenda is all about.”
In the comments, however, some viewers took a more cynical view of the exchange, and wondered if it was in some way a retort to “Let’s Go Brandon.”
“This has to be trolling, right?” one Twitter user asked.
“Well, he walked right into that one,” a user named Sheryl wrote, posting an image of a “Let’s Go Brandon” banner.
“It was you who walked right into it, Sheryl,” another shot back.
Nothing on Mr Biden’s social media suggested that the conversation and the taunt were in any way related. It’s also unclear if Mr Biden is aware that conservatives have adopted the phrase.
The Independent has reached out to the White House to ask if the chant played a role in Mr Biden’s choice to speak with Brandon.