Exactly nine months into his presidency, President Joe Biden has granted only 10 official interviews, and none since Labor Day.
At the same point in their presidencies, Barack Obama had conducted 131 interviews and Donald Trump had participated in 57.
Biden’s interview tally is also well off his own pace as vice president. A dozen years ago, in October, Biden had done more than 20 interviews and, if memory serves, would often do multiple network morning shows the same day. Of course, he was 66 then, not 78.
When questioned, Team Biden continues to claim that the president frequently takes questions from reporters after events or on the tarmac or White House lawn, but those are hurried replies, and he refuses to take questions after key speeches. Again, though, this policy avoids any back-and-forth queries, where reporters could follow-up.
Biden has yet to do an interview even with the pliant reporters from the Associated Press, New York Times, or Washington Post.
He has also done only three print interviews as president: People magazine with the First Lady, the New York Times, and CNN.
This is all a deliberate strategy.
A White House official recently confessed to Politico that “Biden’s well-documented blooper reel doesn’t give the White House much enthusiasm for extensive sit-downs.”
Among the limited press he does, Biden appears to enjoy the televised town hall. He will do his third CNN town hall Thursday, since the White House believes this forum allows the president to engage in discussions while facing fewer potential pitfalls.
But a town hall on the very low-rated CNN has minimal reach, and Anderson Cooper is reticent to challenge the president. Biden’s July town hall there garnered barely a million viewers, falling short of both Fox News’s and MSNBC’s regular programming.
Joe Biden hasn’t held a press conference since July 15—96 days ago.
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 19, 2021