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. Matt

    HAHAHAHA...REpresentative Bunning just said "I am very frightful" about the bailout...and he IS...he is VERY SCARY!!!! lol

    September 23, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  2. No Time For Sarah

    LOL, Palin can't talk to the press until after John wins, because she's the biggest phony around. If John allowed her to talk to the press she'd be minced pie.

    I saw her on television and she ran like a scared rabbit from someone who looked like a reporter. Not ready for prime time, not ready for America, and definitely not ready for the world.

    Obama/Biden

    September 23, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  3. North Dakotan FOR Obama

    Joe is refreshing and speaks his mind. I enjoy a VP candidate who isn't a clone or puppet. We do live in the good ol' USA, right.

    September 23, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  4. Hang In There-- For Barack

    Just 42 more days folks and we can send John and Cindy back to the ranch where they can rock on their 7 porches.

    Hang in there,

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 23, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  5. Jesus Praising & Freedom Loving Patriot

    NOT ONLY DON"T WE KNOW PALIN but nobody really knows who McCain has become.

    Dr McHide I guess.

    September 23, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  6. Does Obama Palin Comparison?

    If Joe Biden fell over in the desert....

    September 23, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  7. Chris in Va.

    Libs be dopes......Hate to rain on your parade but Teddy Roosevelt was not president in 1929, that was Herbert Hoover-R the first Repug to lead us into a depression. Who's a dope now? What were you home schooled?

    September 23, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  8. Emily, Tuscalossa

    Joe who?

    Nobody wants to interview him anyway. With 50,000 people showing up to hear Sarah Barracuda in Florida over the weekend and Biden's biggest audience to date being 2,000--NOBODY CARES ABOUT JOE WHO?

    Sarah Palin 12 & 16'

    September 23, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  9. Larry

    Smiling Joe is a well known commodity that does not come out and lie every single day about his experience.Keep that million dollar smile and you integrity Joe,you are going to be VP and most are proud of that.Palin has that 26 million dollar road to nowhere to walk on when she gets home.American tax dollars paid for that so let her fall off the end of it and then get to work on the real issues with qualified people

    September 23, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  10. Trysh, Los Angeles

    But he has given interviews and speaks to the press. We AT LEAST know his position on things.

    He isn't in hiding and riding with the curtain closed on the press.

    Please stop trying to make this look better for her. This a huge pathetic joke and you know it CNN.

    September 23, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  11. Renee

    I must say "Thanks" to CNN for your "Fact Check" columns on claims and ads run by both candidates. Although I still think you lean and favor Obama, I've seen you debunk at least three of his ads lately, as either, untrue, mixed, or misleading. I appreciate it.

    September 23, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  12. hard workin ohio

    no bailout! no communism! no more baby killings!

    McCain 08

    September 23, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  13. Marcpatriot

    Biden and the rest have been making the rounds for years, but with legitimate concerns over her qualifications if not fitness, Palin should be eager to convince voters of her preparedness and ability to think on her feet. Instead, she is confined to controlled events and scripted remarks. On face value, this is both suspicious and alarming. This conspicuous hiding ought to be the central question hanging over her candidacy and dominate the national dialogue about her. If the far right seems willing to entrust our nation to a stranger based on superficial first impression, the rest of us need to all the more vigilant. For unless she receives scrutiny and starts to reveal herself we have no way of knowing if we are asked to put a viper into our midst.

    September 23, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  14. Val

    CNN- YOu got be kidding me! Stop putting on pressure on Biden to do a news confernce. We already know Biden. Ever since been Palin picked for VP for republican party, she has done 0 press conferences. So get off Joe Biden and put pressure on Palin. Joe Biden done interview on,Mornning Joe twice, Cnn,Meet the Press,CBS with Katie Couric. Your artical is nonsense!

    September 23, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  15. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    our country is in DIRE STRAITS, future VP Biden-and gang-is VERY busy trying to figure out how best to get us out of this mess.

    america is quickly becoming a second-tier player in the global economy thanks to the flippin GOP losers!!!!! it night be okay to you non-thinkers that we taxpayers bail out bush's buddies in the financial world, but it's NOT OKAY with every other person in ameirca who doesnt bother to watch the toy TV-FOX "news"!!!

    September 23, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  16. Trysh, Los Angeles

    And Biden actually answers the questions put to him during his campaign rallies and town hall meetings.

    There is no comparison here folks!

    September 23, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  17. Marcpatriot

    Biden and the others have been making the rounds for years, but with legitimate concerns over her qualifications if not fitness, Palin should be eager to convince voters of her preparedness and ability to think on her feet. She owes her country and the process nothing less. Instead, she is confined to controlled events and scripted remarks. On face value, this is both suspicious and alarming. This conspicuous hiding ought to be the central question hanging over her candidacy and dominate the national dialogue about her. If the far right seems willing to entrust our nation to a stranger based on superficial first impression, the rest of us need to all the more vigilant. For unless she receives scrutiny and starts to reveal herself we have no way of knowing if we are asked to put a viper into our midst.

    September 23, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  18. R. Hanlon

    For Campbell Brown. Could you possibly imagine that Palin herself had no desire to talk with reporters? That it was her decision? Gee, what a thought. Frankly, I wouldn't blame her.

    R. Hanlon

    September 23, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  19. Matt

    Case in point to what I said above: This story was published AFTER you published the story about Palin being debriefed for her U.N. playdate, but it is now positioned underneath that article on the Political Ticker page.

    September 23, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  20. INDEPENDANT VET

    ALL THE MEDIA IS WORKING OVER TIME FOR MORE NEGATIVE SLANG TO PUT OUT .

    WELL THEY WILL MEET LIKE THE LATEST BUMPER STICKER . 1 MILLION SPERM , AN THEY WERE WAS THE FASTEST . BEHIND BARACK OBAMA , AN THE CHICAGO MAFIA . NOTHING NEW , CHICAGO POLITICS .

    HOW WILLL DEMOCRATS STAND UP TO TERRORIST , WHEN THEY CAN'T FACE FOX NEW'S ???

    SO THEY ARE FOR ABORTION , BUT AGAINST KILLING TERRORIST ?

    NO BIRTH CERTIFICATE , NO PRESIDENT , BYE , BYE OBAMA

    September 23, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  21. cecil

    We Know Joe, We Know Obama, We Know McCain......

    We Don't Know Palin?

    Gov. Palin. My First Instinct, A Heart Beat Away From "Running The Country"

    Very Scary Thought! I See Her As A GOP Cheer Leader Only!

    We Just Don't Know Her, And Sen. McCain Wants To Keep It That Way, For Some Strange Reason!

    Sen. Obama Been At It For Almost 2 Years, Gov Palin, Has It Been A Month Yet? We Joe, We Know McCain, We Will Never Know Gov. Palin.

    She's Too Programmed, Too Protected and Too Isolated From Us Who Dont Know Her.

    Indepenent For Obama/Biden

    September 23, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  22. Jim

    The nation knows Sen. Biden well, for his long career in the Senate and particularly on the foreign affairs committee. No one, not even Republican opponents, doubts he is totally qualified to be VP in a crisis. Plus Biden has given roughly 90 national and local interviews,

    Few people outside of Alaska know Gov. Palin well – including McCain himself! She has given almost no interviews or faced tough questions. We live in a democracy (at least I hope so)! Our candidates are morally obligated to reveal themselves and explain their policies to the media – even if they don't like the media. We do not elect candidates just because they were anointed by another candidate (McCain)!

    September 23, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  23. Mike, Vancouver

    Joe Biden has been well vetted over his career and people know what to expect.

    However for Darah Palin, the Republicnan chauvanistic nature has not allowed them to allow her to say anything.

    Maybe a bright and whitty girl but we know nothing about her other than her Alaskan miniseries of possible corruption or not.

    We don't know, in a week when the FBI is taking about 20+ banking firms inot investigations and corruption.

    Make the CEOs of these banks and their senior henchmen pay the price and let the American people know that their conduct is not acceptable and payouts will not be given.

    Outrageous...............when Senators of all colors are scared to the point of panick.. Mr. Paulsen should be investigated as well as Bernake and Palin.

    September 23, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  24. Scott L

    Raise taxes! Raise taxes! Yeaaa Taxes!

    I love taxes! More more more!

    Vote Democrat! Raise'em high! Take our hard earned money!

    Gooooooooo taxes!

    September 23, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  25. fred

    Joe has been put on a short leash the guy is the campaigns own worst enemy.

    Palin will eat his lunch in any debate...

    September 23, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
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