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. 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 Caucasian 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 and ect….their unemployment had ended. That’s not Obama’s fault…..

    September 23, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  2. jimmy

    THE MEDIA HAS BEEN HARD ON THE HEELS OF GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN TRYING (AND COMPLAINING) TO GET HER TO TALK ABOUT HER MEETINGS WITH WORLD LEADERS? WHO ARE THEY TRYING TO KID? THE MEDIA INTEREST IS SELF-SERVING AND WILL USE PALIN'S REMARKS AGAINST HER.. IS IT NOT OBVIOUS THAT SHE IS GETTING THE VIEWS OF WORLD LEADERS AND HENRY KISSINGER IN PREPARATION FOR HER DEBATE WITH BIDEN. INCIDENTALLY, IS THERE A RUMOR THAT BIDEN MIGHT WITHDRAW THE VP SPOT IN FAVOR OF HILLARY.? CONSIDER BIDEN'S RECENT COMMENT THAT HILLARY IS A BETTER CANDIDATE THAN HIMSELF. AND HIS OFF HANDED CONTRADICTIONS WITH OBAMA'S COMMENTS ON THE AIG BAILOUT. AND OTHER TIDBITS WHICH CRITICS SAY ARE JUST THE TRUE BIDEN. IT WOULD INDEED BE A BOMBSHELL IF JOE BIDEN WITHDREW FROM HIS VP SPOT AND LET HILLARY IN AS THE VP CANDIDATE! THAT WILL BE MOST ELECTRIFYING THAN ANYTHING IN AMERICAN POLITICS.

    September 23, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  3. Patrick, Fairfield, CA

    Big Daddy Joe does not need to hide from the media. His silence will be greeted by the media with much scrutiny, but he knows how to handle this sort of thing. Obama doesn't need to rein him in – Biden can stand on his own two feet, unlike the fragile Sarah Palin who's been seen running around with foreign policy text books!

    September 23, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  4. Missy

    Well it's certainly not because Joe Biden is ignorant on the issues. I guess he's tired of talking to the press, when the Republican VP is getting special treatment by the press by not having to answer any questions that are too difficult for her. I've never seen such an unfair campaign in my lifetime. If you can't talk to the press and answer questions, that should tell you something–you're not qualified!

    September 23, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  5. Douglas, Los Angeles

    Wait a minute! Don't put Biden in the same pen with Palin. He answers questions, he's been on the talk shows, he's been on television for all of us to see. Maybe his schedule doesn't allow him to do any "news conferences" yet, but he's been there for us. At least we are getting to know this candidate. Palin, we know nothing about. She is like a Cheney. We cannot go down that same road again.

    Enough! We need transparency, not Palin. The Palin effect is a joke!

    September 23, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  6. kris in RM,CA

    Biden is fearless. BIden is honest. Biden is a real man. Biden knows how to answer questions. Biden is real. Biden is just the best.
    Palin is a phoney. Palin is a skilled liar. Palin is a con artist. Palin is trouble. Palin is undereducated for the job.
    No one should vote for the McCain/Palin ticket. They are tricking the American public and will wreck the nation if allowed to.
    Vote all Republicans out. Do you want Lieberman as Secretary of State and Graham as Secretary of the Treasurey. I think not.

    September 23, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  7. Brenda

    Is there really anybody out there that can favorably compare Palin's knowledge and experience to that of Joe Biden??? REALLY???
    Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, you have to admit that he is far superior in both. Now, yes, I know that the conservatives are in the tank for Sarah Palin...and that is their right. But honest to God, are we, as informed voters, really supposed to just accept McCain's word that Palin is ready.

    Forget that! I've heard all I need to know about Sarah Palin. She was a TOKEN on the ticket. The token woman who was supposed to gather up Hillary's disappointed female voters. Only one problem, the Hillary gals are just plain too smart for that.

    One more thing...if Obama really wants to create a stir, take over the news channels, and make everyone ask McCain/Palin who...all he has to do is announce some of the people he would include in his cabinet. Maybe, say Hillary Clinton and Colin Powell.

    September 23, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  8. j.williams, san diego

    let me compute this...FDR president when the stock market crashed in 1929 and he watched him on t.v. i see MNSBC jumped all over that but wait all their lawyers were still in Alaska...A HEARTBEAT AWAY.... help us all...

    September 23, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  9. Jack

    Give it a break – we all know where Joe Biden stands on the issues. We know all about Joe Biden there are no surprises.

    Now with the Bubble Lady (Sarah) we know that she is being handled so that people don't have a chance to find out about her except for the tale of lies spun in front of cameras at the convention.

    September 23, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  10. B. Hawkins

    Why is this news?. Biden has never been afraid to talk with press. He has been interviewed at least 84 times this year alone on Meet the Press, This week,Fox News and other programs. What does Palin have to hide. She is a heart beat from being POTUS and she is afraid to talk with press? She we cut her break because she is a girl? As Hillary once said if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

    September 23, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  11. Jar

    ::::::::::::::::BREAKING NEWS:::

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

    September 23, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  12. EBC

    I KNOW all about Sen. Joe Biden.

    I don't KNOW JACK about Miss Pitt Bull who apparently have a "tight muzzle" on her mouth!!!!

    Dah.....

    Andrea Mitchell on CNN reported tonight that the McCain Camp is keeping Ms. "Beauty Pageant" away from the Press until AFTER her VP Debate, just in case she PUTS HER FOOT IN HER MOUTH BEFORE the debate which would be used against her!!

    CAN WE SAY..... Pitt Bull with a tight LEASH and MUZZLE !!

    September 23, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  13. Kate

    I LOVE the fact that Obama chose someone as his VP who isn't a "yes" man, who won't walk in lock step with every position and has knowledge, experience and insight that will both challenge and inform Obama. I believe that is why Obama chose him. He wasn't looking for a "soulmate" he was looking for someone who would help him govern. That takes real leadership, real confidence and real courage.

    September 23, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  14. Matt

    Triceratops for President!!! Triceratops has 4,000 years of experience being extinct so we could have oil and give us god's blesing in messing with the Middle East!!! Triceratops has more foreign policy experience than all candidates!!! Vote Triceratops if you want a safe global economy for your children and save Israel!!!

    September 23, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  15. Senile McCain

    Is it true McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis was racking up the dough from Freddie Mac until this month then sent Senile MCCain out there to lie to the American people?

    Does Rick Davis encourages LIES and Deception?

    September 23, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  16. high school student making a difference

    Um... last I checked, Biden has been dealing with the national press for decades. Palin has for a few weeks. Therefore, her avoidance of the press conferences is somewhat more of an issue than his.

    BOJO 08
    FOR THE CHANGE WE NEED

    September 23, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  17. Call it down the middle

    I am a OBAMA supporter, I do however respect John McCain for many of the sacrifices he has made for this country. I think he does care, but I just don't think he understands everyday Americans. I think he thinks that everyone who puts forth effort has 7 homes, and 13 cars. When the fact of the matter is, I have a double bachlors degree, and I struggle to make it with the skyrocketing cost of fuel, healthcare, etc etc. We need someone who knows what it's like to pay student loans, home loans, and do things that everyday Americans do.

    Also could we stop talking about how the candidates present a idea. McCain reads off little cards and Obama reads a teleprompter. BIG DEAL! WHO CARES! We have bigger issues than that!

    September 23, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  18. Bob

    Question....Do the paid Obama blogger posts go through moderation? Is it necessary to have hundreds of Obama talking point quoting comments on every topic? Fortunately, your moderation "policy" has pushed the general public off your site.
    The Obamabloggers are pretty much talking to themselves now.
    One question to all the Obama bloggers who claim that they will win
    this state or that state...(Virginia, North Carolina) Anyone wanna make a bet?

    September 23, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  19. t.baker

    It's quite hilarious that someone calling other people idiots on this board goes on to name calling Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Grow up Marc from Indiana ...

    And as for this 'story', like the American people don't know who the heck Joe Biden is? At least he's not hiding from press at rally's. At least he's not being sheltered from those big mean media people at events.

    The joke that the McCain camp has turned in to is truly pathetic. There was a time when I could actually consider voting for John McCain .. that was when I actually thought he really DID tell the truth.

    September 23, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  20. NORA, FLORIDA

    OCTOBER 2ND FOLKS
    OCTOBER 2ND

    VP PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES!!! I DON'T CARE WHO HAS ON A SKIRT. I DON'T CARE WHAT COLOR ANYONE IS BUT I DO CARE ABOUT TRANSPARENCY TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

    CAN YOU GUESS WHICH TEAM HAS BEEN PROVIDING THAT?

    THAT IS THE ONE THAT WILL GET MY VOTE!!!

    September 23, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  21. Keith

    Probably just as well. He's been blurting lately...

    September 23, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  22. KATHLEEN

    Joe Biden is a very smart, and wise man. It is just the American people who fall for the "Sarah Palin's of this world. Only in America
    can people be this stupid. Read up, people. Joe Biden's, Promises
    to Keep. TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. Joe has VALUES which is something that American does not admire anymore!!!

    Obama Biden 2008

    September 23, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  23. TyWebb

    Hey, "marc from Indiana", speaking of mindless...take a look in the mirror. Not only will you see yourself, but Sarah Palin as well. Yes, Sarah who can't speak at all...talk about mindless. Remember, you can't spell Sarah Palin without L I A R. Yes, a mindless liar, she is.

    September 23, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  24. sally

    communication is two way, Sarah cannot just be talking to us and we cannot ask her in return, how then do we know her?

    September 23, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  25. KATHLEEN

    GREED by the Republicans and Wall Street have all but destroyed
    our Country. MORE to COME. The "bailout" is a band-aid!!! These
    banks have transferred their money overseas!!!!!!

    Stay a racist and lose it all-OUR COUNTRY!!!! Almost gone.

    September 23, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
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