The Associated Press recently knocked President Joe Biden to avoid the press on numerous occasions.
Biden frequently shies away from news conferences and interviews. The AP report remarked how infrequently the president had held press conferences where he answered questions.
Biden often immediately walks away from the podium after important speeches and press conferences without taking questions.
“As Biden wraps up his first year in the White House, he has held fewer news conferences than any of his five immediate predecessors at the same point in their presidencies and has participated in fewer medial interviews than any of his recent predecessors,” said the report.
“The dynamic has the White House facing questions about whether Biden, who vowed to have the most transparent administration in the nation’s history, is falling short in pulling back the curtain on how his administration operates and missing opportunities to explain his agenda.”
The report said that the president “does more frequently field questions at public appearances than any of his recent predecessors.”
Experts quoted in the article noted that “Biden has done just 22 media interviews, fewer than any of his six more recent White House predecessors at the same point in their presidencies.”
The article acknowledged what has become Biden’s “preferred method” of dealing with the press — abruptly ending any answers and walking out of the room.
It explained that Biden often implies that someone else is in charge by claiming he is “not supposed” to answer questions.
A Missouri State University communications professor, Brian Ott, said that “the scarcity of Biden news conferences and interviews with mainstream news media may help explain why Biden’s approval ratings are near historic lows.”
Professor Ott explained that social media and pop culture offer opportunities to connect with a segment of America.
The president should take advantage of this by holding formal news conferences and giving print and traditional broadcast outlets interviews. According to Ott, addressing the American people and offering information will be critical to correcting the disconnect.
Approval rating tanks
According to recent polling, President Biden currently sits at a 43% approval rating. With midterm elections approaching later this year, some progressives and fellow Democrats are casting doubt on Biden’s chances of winning reelection in 2024.
“The presidency has always been a predominantly rhetorical enterprise. You can’t drive an agenda without a vision casting, and part of that has to go through the mainstream press,” said Ott.
Biden has held nine formal news conferences, including three jointly with visiting world leaders and six solo conferences.
President Ronald Reagan, whose schedule was scheduled back his first term in 1981 due to an assassination attempt, is the only recent president to hold fewer first-year news conferences. Reagan did 59 interviews in 1981.