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. Liars And Unfit Candidates

    Sarah Palin was never vetted before she was selected, and John McCain is a liar.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 23, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  2. Salt and Slime

    Biden is the salt of the earth, and Sarah Palin is a liar.

    September 23, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  3. Willy Brown

    Wonder if the DNC is getting ready to pull a Frank Lautenberg and switch Joe for Ms. Bill Clinton after Sarah Palin cleans his clock on 5 October.

    September 23, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  4. The King of Vegetables

    Sen. Biden can surely speak his own mind during this campaign. If he disagrees with a position taken by Obama on something, then he can choose between being silent or expressing his views. So what?

    We all know that many different people are speaking for the Obama campaign: Obama himself, Biden, the various prominent supporters who make speeches in his behalf, and the marketing people who put together his advertising.

    These many voices pretty much agree on the basic themes, but some differences on particular issues are to be expected. That is the democratic way.

    It is Conservatives who demand not only that all Conservatives must articulate the party line and nothing but, even down to the phrases used.

    September 23, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  5. Baracking the Vote

    I can't see Barack running with anyone else but Biden. He is definitely my first choice. I'm so glad we have a winning ticket.

    The others can talk, but that's all they can do, just talk. Barack walked the walk and gave us a VP we can be proud of.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 23, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  6. Obamas GPA at Columbia University 2.0 .LOLOLOL

    Biden run...run away.....run now......Get away from O.J. Obama while you can.

    He is soiling your reputation..

    Run....

    September 23, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  7. Sarah Fallin' and Failin'

    When the water hits her, she will melt like the wicked witch of the West.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 23, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  8. EmilyP

    How will Biden solve the economy problems when 30+years of government work. He made over 2.5million over the last 10 years and his networth is between 70-150K. How can this guy manage our economy, he doesn’t have any money himself.

    September 23, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  9. dem 4 McCain/Palin

    I heard Biden was pulling out of the Obama ticket in Oct and Obama will try to put Hillary on it. Also lets face it. I have had more time in the bathroom then Obama has in politics. So I don't care who runs with him. Hillary was my chose but she was treated like dirt by Obama and the dem. party. Obama and Hillary cannot stand each other. Dem party which I am part of has Obama with no experience running. Makes no sense to me......So I will back McCain/Palin just because the way Obama treats women.....Wake up America....

    September 23, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  10. Independent-Latina-for-OBAMA

    I have been reading comments on these blogs, I see misinformation all the time and most of the time I ignore the ignorant comments. But there have been a couple today that I have to address:

    ONE: MCCAIN WILL BE BETTER FOR LATINOS.......REALLY??? THIS IS THE SAME MAN WHO VOTED FOR THE "WALL".......WHOSE OWN PARTY HAS BEEN TOTALLY .......UNJUST........IN DEALING WITH UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS!

    TWO: "THE DEMOCRATS HAVE BEEN IN CONTROL OF CONGRESS FOR .......SIX YEARS." NO.........NO.......... THEY WON THE ELECTION IN 2006, AND TOOK A ........SLIGHT.........I......REPEAT........SLIGHT.......MAJORITY ......IN.........2007! GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE YOU, FAR-RIGHT-NUTS-SPEW YOUR MISINFORMATION!

    September 23, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  11. Go Barack, Go Biden

    When I asked my grandfather, a Republican, who he was voting for he said Obama. When I asked him why, he said, "Why should I vote for a ticket with a cheerleader? If I want to see a cheerleader, I'll turn on the game".

    Enough said.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 23, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  12. Cam

    I find it hilarious that there are so many people who are blindly saying Palin has what it takes. If all it takes to be VP or President is to be able to give a canned speech and be kept under lock and key the rest of the time, then anyone could do it. You know nothing about her other than what the McCain camp wants you to know. The ironic thing is that it is obvious that the ones who are the most worried about Palin's readiness to be VP are McCain and his campaign.

    I see their strategy though. Keep the expectations very low so that no matter what she does it will be seen as positive. Say what you want about Obama's experience, but he is just presidential. He thinks about things and America needs that in its next leader. Unfortunately McCain just reacts. He has no vision and Palin is obviously not ready if she is afraid of standing up to the media.

    I like that Biden is a bit of a gafffemachine. He comes off as a guy who cares and who wears his heart on his sleeve. I think the fact that he questioned the ad about McCain and that he tells it like it is are both positives for Obama's campaign. I mean, Obama is showing that he is willing to surround himself with poeple who can disagree with him......its called checks and balances. Palin, on the other hand, will not question McCain at all. Think about that. I would rather have the ticket that can debate with each other about what to do to save America rather than a ticket that thinks they already know the answer no matter what others think.

    September 23, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  13. sam

    please if lip lock Sara isn't saying anything why should he.

    Like someone said we know about him we don't know much about her what we do know from the way this is being handled the republican know she was a big mistake

    September 23, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  14. Art from Maine

    Why isn't CNN and the other major networks telling us the truth about Palin. Her church, her beliefs about dinosaurs and man present on earth at the same time and her poltical backstabbing are enough to make many of her intelligent defenders think twice.

    September 23, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  15. Obamabots Self Destructing is Funny

    SARAH!!
    SARAH!!
    SARAH!!
    SARAH!!
    SARAH!!
    SARAH!!
    SARAH!!
    SARAH!!
    SARAH!!
    SARAH!!

    September 23, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  16. Mindscape

    Biden...

    Has made flagrant racist and sexist comments

    Stated Hillary would have been a better VP choice than he would

    Said the McCain computer add was not right

    Is, with over 35 years in Washington, supposed to be representing Obama's Change message

    Is the GOP's number one weapon against the Democrats this fall

    McCain/Palin '08

    September 23, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  17. McHoover Would Destroy What's Left of America

    CNN, you are obviously confused.

    It is actually the Republican VP that has avoided all direct contact with the media and the public.

    You should be running a discussion every single day about the disgrace to the seriousness of this election by the Republicans.

    They have turned the race into a circus and you the mainstream media have not only participated, but have encouraged by your lackluster response to obvious manipulations.

    September 23, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  18. dem 4 McCain/Palin

    Everyone talks about Palin not giving interviews but what about Biden? He isn't answering any questions from anyone....Maybe thats because it is said he will be leaving Obama ticket. I heard that is the big plan.....Its wierd we don't hear a thing bout Biden.....

    September 23, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  19. linda from South Dakota

    palin is trouble,, her knowledge is so limited,, how she was picked is way beyond me,, mccain was having a desperate moment,,,, and why is she gettin so much coverage? shes a woman,,, ge thinks ,, if i pick a woman,, ill win,, lol, hes so mistaken tho, because we all know what hes like,, with his lies and deceit,,, no one in their right mind would even think about votin for him,, obama/biden 08 and beyond,,,, between these two theres moreknowledge than bush in the last 8 years,,,,,

    September 23, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  20. marc from Indiana

    What a mindless bunch of idiots on this board backing Ole Joe. One thing is for certain, you all speak with one mind. I do mean that literally, also. Nobama and Ole Joe, what a combination. Guess Nobama is still looking for that missing father figure since Wright is momentarily out of the picture. Only thing better than a loose cannon on the democratic ticket is 2 loose cannons.

    September 23, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  21. Tom in Delaware

    Now the rest of the nation gets to find out what we here in Delaware have know since 1972.

    Joe Biden is 'The Gaffe-Master'!

    Be kind, he can't help help himself.

    September 23, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  22. NO, it's not just us.....

    It is amazing how some of you say Obama will lead us to the food stamp, unemployment or welfare line. During the Primaries, the candidates would visit towns all over our Country and would interview people of all races that suffer financially poor by the Republicans administration (including McCain 95% voting with Bush) being in the White House. There homes had holes in the roof, floors and walls. I can remember this white couple who said they had worked all their lives and when the only manufacturing company moved over seas, they cried for days (yes, they were receiving food stamps, medicade, had visit churches and food shelters and their unemployment had ended. I say this because, I am a minority and I was taught to LOVE and CARE about EVERYONE. It's a shame that you blame Obama for putting people in this type of situation, when it is ALREADY happening. Do you honestly think a person with 8 houses, 13 cars and millions in the bank really give a d_m about any of us? Hatefulness is a disease and McCain/Palin is NOT the CURE........

    Enough is ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!

    September 23, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  23. Sharon Campbell

    I have been hearing that Obama is planning to replace Biden with Hillary and that Biden will say he's stepping down for health reasons.

    September 23, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  24. David in Illinois

    A key point here: Biden has been on the Sunday news talk shows about 100 billion times. For Palin it's ZERO.
    We know pretty much where Biden stands on just about every issue. Or if you don't know it's fairly easy to Google it. If you Google Sarah Palin, the main result you're likely to get is "lipstick."
    This is shameful journalism. CALL HER OUT newsmen and women! The GOP is trying to hide her, afraid for their very lives if we'll find out what she's really made of.
    McCain, king of the Keating Five (remember that fiasco, newsmen and newswomen?) should retire and Palin should go back to Alaska and her "First Dude."

    September 23, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  25. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Yah, yah, yah. Obamaites are full of excuses for Biden as usual. It's standard operating procedure for Dems to have one set of rules for themselves and another for everyone else. Given Biden's well documented history of gaffs, Obama has put a clamp on any ad libbing on his part. Dems you know it, so stop whining about Palin. And when is the last time Obama has talked to anyone without a teleprompter?

    September 23, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
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