What has become a traditional White House holiday call with children tracking Santa Claus took an awkward turn this year when one father used the opportunity to insult the president using a slur that has become popular in right-wing circles. President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden were taking calls into the North American Aerospace Defense Command Santa Tracker. “Santa’s really moving, man,” Biden said at the beginning of the event. “That’s a heavy sleigh, man.”
When Biden and the first lady began talking with four children whose father was identified as Jared, here was no hint that anything strange would happen. The children—Griffin, Hunter, Piper, and Penelope—had a broad range of requests for Santa, with one asking for a piano and another for a Nintendo Switch, among other gifts. Finally Jared came on the line and the president wished him well. “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,” he replied. Biden seemed unfazed by the slur: “Let’s go Brandon, I agree.” The call then cut off and the Bidens continued chatting with other families.
The slogan has become popular in conservative circles, particularly among supporters of former President Donald Trump as a euphemism for “fuck Joe Biden.” It all began when a reporter was interviewing a NASCAR driver named Brandon Brown earlier this year. The crowd was chanting “fuck Joe Biden” but the reporter said they were cheering the NASCAR driver on by saying, “Let’s go Brandon.” Ever since then, the words have become a popular way to insult Biden and some Republican lawmakers have even uttered the phrase in Congress.
Three years ago, then-President Donald Trump was taking calls from children as part of the same program when he asked a seven-year-old whether she still believed in Santa. “Are you still a believer in Santa?” Trump asked Coleman Lloyd from South Carolina. “Because at seven it’s marginal, right?