September 23rd, 2008
05:29 PM ET
3 years ago

Biden not holding press conferences, either

Sen. Biden hasn't held a press conference or taken questions from voters in two weeks.
Sen. Biden hasn't held a press conference or taken questions from voters in two weeks.

(CNN) – On Tuesday, John McCain held a press conference for the first time since becoming the Republican nominee, his first in six weeks. Much has been made of his running mate Sarah Palin not talking to the press corps traveling with her, and rarely sitting for interviews. But amid all the criticism of the Republican ticket avoiding the press, it has slipped the notice of many that Joe Biden isn’t giving press conferences either.

His last media availability was over two weeks ago on September 7 aboard his campaign plane, flying from Montana to Wisconsin. He spoke for about half an hour, over a third of which was in response to a question about partitioning Iraq.

But since then, there has been no interaction with the small band of reporters on the Delaware senator’s plane.

To be fair, the famously talkative Biden has given 89 national and local interviews, according to the campaign. Palin, in contrast, has granted just a handful, including one to People Magazine.

Biden's press secretary David Wade blames the lack of access on a compressed schedule, combined with a workload that includes preparing for next week's debate and writing speeches, like Wednesday's foreign policy address in Cincinnati. He says that there will be a press conference once things slow down, but adds that as Barack Obama prepares this week for Friday's presidential debate, Biden will pick up the slack by adding more events.

But Biden isn’t just keeping his press corps at arm’s length - he isn’t taking questions from voters either. As he left the convention in Denver and started campaigning alone, Biden answered voters’ questions at town halls every day for ten days in a row, except for the one day he took off.

On the tenth day, September 10 in Nashua, New Hampshire, Biden committed one of his biggest gaffes on the trail: when responding to a supporter he said Barack Obama might be better off if he had chosen Hillary Clinton as his running mate.

Now, gone is the town hall format - a change Wade also attributes to a tight schedule.

Last Thursday, in Akron, Ohio, Biden accused McCain and Palin of hiding from the press.

“When’s the last time John’s had a press conference?” asked Biden. “When elected officials stop holding press conferences, it ain’t because he’s found a new way to communicate, it’s because he doesn’t want to communicate.”

In early August, McCain hadn’t spoken to his press corps in over a month. So they jokingly bought a cardboard cutout of the Arizona senator for their cabin on the plane as a sad reminder of the access they once enjoyed on the Straight Talk Express. Three days later, McCain gave a press conference, and followed it up with two more in the following week.

Monday morning, Wade sent reporters on the bus a link to a Web site with a cardboard cutout of the Democratic VP nominee for sale — perhaps not a bad investment for an access-hungry press corps.


Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (214 Responses)
  1. William J.

    Biden's press conference schedule is HARDLY the same to Palin's absolute vanishing act when it comes to press availability. Shame on CNN for trying to draw some equivalence between the two.

    Palin is an utter unknown to the overwhelming majority of Americans, and her boss (John McCain) is preventing us from getting to know what she's all about.

    I expect that kind of secrecy from totalitarians like Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This is NOT how we behave in a democracy, John McCain. Where is your honor? Where is your decency?

    September 23, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  2. Jar

    CNN IM SURE YOU GOING TO MODERATION ON ME CNN POST THIS

    FREDDIE MAC PAID MCCAIN CAMPAIGN CHIEF'S OLD FIRM UNTIL LAST MONTH

    September 23, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  3. jm from sc

    Mike,
    A teleprompter is nothing new. It was invented back in the 50's. Most people you see on television that makes long speeches uses a teleprompter. Why do people think Obama have to memorize his speeches? I have never seen this level of ignorance. When you see news reporters talking, most of them have a teleprompter in front of them unless they are just talking. Obama is well capable of talking without the teleprompter. Those type comments are just plain silly.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 23, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  4. Angela

    Biden is not having a press conference because he wouldn't be able to practice plagarism which is cornerstone of his entire career along with the sexist views he's displayed.

    A vote for Biden/Obama handcuffs our kids future and ensures that we're firmly on the track to becoming Socialist/Communist state like Cuba.

    This isn't American Idol where we vote based on popularlity...use some common sense people...McCain/Palin for our the future of our children

    September 23, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  5. DWoods

    Biden is not a new comer dodging the media. It bewilders me how an American running for USA Vice President will talk to foreigners but not to the USA media. Does the McShame No Game campaign have to train her on every aspect of being VP? You people are beyond hilarious. You can't brief someone on the VPs job and everyday task. Experience has to play in somewhere along the line. Oops my fault!! Is that why McCain changed his theme from Experience to Change. First because Palin has no experience and he knows Change is what this country needs. McCain you have more experience and we don't need the kind of change you're promoting.

    September 23, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  6. Charlotte

    Biden doesn't think Obama is qualified either. Guess he figures he can steer him straight. Like the statement he made about Obama taking his guns? I think he said, "ain't gonna happen." This election gets wierder and wierder everyday. I think when all the attention is on the opponents second string, you have a big problem. The more the Dems. focus on her, the better McCain looks. Obama is #1 and is compared to Sarah Palin, the #2? I can hardly wait for the McCain and Obama debates. Obama needs to study more then 3 days, he needs Hillary to coach him, and then I don't think he can help but to stutter and stammer. The debates are, above his pay grade..Too many drugs in his youth, has affected his brain cells..LOL

    September 23, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  7. FL4OB

    Biden has been in national & international politics for years, and he continues to do interviews with several networks (big difference). Many Americans already know Biden and have confidence in his abilities.

    September 23, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  8. Susan

    We already know everything to know about Biden. Sarah on the other hand refuses to talk to the press because she has a lot to hide and the more we find out about her, the scarier it gets! She's staying away from the press because the Republicans CANNOT HANDLE THE TRUTH!

    September 23, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  9. Uncle Blue

    Are we running blind and deaf? Family (all my American Brothers and Sisters). Iran and Venesulla are Putins puppets, China and N. Korea are observers. We will never stabilize Iraq but we must never leave but keep it as a stronghold in that region. Putin is going to play us into a war knowing that once it's own the observers, China & N. Korea are going to get involved. It's just like on the streets folks you can't show signs of weakness and expect to run things, cause everybody want's to be top dog.

    September 23, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  10. O for Pres

    Like most of you said...we don't know this lady!! There seems to be too much cover up. Even Alaskans don't like her..and she been in their houses and in their pockets. She's puppet and repeats herself, so of course we want to actually SEE her speak on her feet. Right now we can just replay the previous recordings and the are all the same...and I say 'Thanks but no thanks' to puppets.

    September 24, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  11. kent

    CNN calls this NEWS!? BS! This is the most LAME news I've ever seen! Keep trying to MANUFACTURE AN ISSUE CNN.

    September 24, 2008 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
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