We all have seen how Joe Biden, since becoming president, has avoided the press. You may be wondering how this compares to other recent presidents.
According to the New York Post, Biden, at this point in his presidency, has only participated in a fraction of the number of interviews given by many of his predecessors at a similar point in their presidencies.
If one counts the recent town hall event that Biden participated in on CNN, then, thus far, through the first 10 months of his presidency, Biden has given a measly 16 interviews.
To put this number into perspective, former President Donald Trump by this time in his presidency gave 82 interviews, Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, gave 131 interviews, Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, gave 42 interviews, and Bush’s predecessor, Bill Clinton, gave 51 interviews.
Even Ronald Reagan gave 32 interviews by October 1981, and this is despite the fact that he gave no interviews for a month during his recovery from a serious gunshot wound that punctured a lung and broke a rib.
Solo press conferences are a bit of a different story. Biden has given one so far, which is the same as Trump, but it is less than Obama’s five, Bush’s three, and Clinton’s 13.
But, it’s not just about quantity it is also about the quality of Biden’s interactions with the press. And, here there is no starker contrast than Biden and Trump.
Whereas Trump would participate in lengthy question and answer sessions, Biden, half the time, barely takes one question before hurrying off the stage.
Biden’s unwillingness to engage with the press is something that has earned him a lot of criticism from both sides of the political spectrum.
Countless times have we heard Biden say something along the lines of, “I’m not supposed to take any questions,” suggesting that his staff has put him under some sort of gag order. Accordingly, it is pretty clear that Biden’s staff is trying to protect him, probably from the gaffes and other miscues that tend to occur when Biden goes off-script.
The question is whether this criticism for not engaging with the press is more bearable for Biden and his administration than the criticism that they would receive for the gaffes. The White House clearly thinks it is.
In the meantime, Biden’s favorability among the American people continues to sink. Real Clear Politics now has him underwater, on average, by 8.7 percentage points.