If you have been thinking President Joe Biden has been skimping on having press conferences and interviews, and otherwise answering questions from reporters, you are correct.
Largely absent from Biden’s presidential campaign were ordinary campaign activities, including fielding questions from reporters or even giving speeches before audiences of any kind. Now, nine months into this presidency, Biden continues not to make himself available to answer reporters’ questions.
Steven Nelson examined the situation in a Thursday New York Post article. Nelson started off his article with the following numerical contrast of Biden’s interactions with reporters to those interactions by some of Biden’s recent predecessors. Nelson writes:
President Biden has granted one-fifth as many interviews as Donald Trump, one-eighth as many as Barack Obama and half as many as a nearly assassinated Ronald Reagan did at this point in their presidencies, data shared with The Post reveal as reporters fume about limited access.
Biden’s Thursday night CNN town hall will bring him to 16 interviews total — versus 82 by Trump, 131 by Obama and 32 by Reagan, according to data compiled by presidential historian Martha Kumar.
Nelson relates later in the article that the father and son Bush presidents also had many more interviews than has Biden over the same time period. The Bushes took part in, respectively, 38 and 42 interviews.
Bill Clinton, Nelson notes, had 51 interviews by the same time in his presidency.
What is behind Biden’s reluctance to field reporters’ questions? One potential reason offered in Nelson’s article seems just about sure to describe at least some of the reasoning behind Biden’s comparatively limited answering of reporters’ question. Nelson writes:
Sean Spicer, Trump’s first press secretary, said that Biden’s staff ‘want a scripted presidency’ to minimize the chances of gaffes or other distracting commentary.
‘They want to minimize the opportunities for him to go off script. And they want as little pushback as possible,’ said Spicer, now a TV host for Newsmax.
Read Nelson’s article here.
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.