February 4th, 2010
02:25 PM ET
5 years ago

Gibbs pressed on lack of Obama press conferences

Robert Gibbs faced questions from reporters Thursday.
Robert Gibbs faced questions from reporters Thursday.

Washington (CNN) - White House press secretary Robert Gibbs Thursday defended the number of formal press conferences, or lack thereof, held by President Obama in recent months.

CNN White House correspondent Dan Lothian asked Gibbs why Obama has been unavailable for questioning by the White House press corps over the past six months.

"He has taken questions at different press avails from a whole host of reporters," said Gibbs. "We've done a countless number of interviews, more interviews in the first year than any other president in recent memory. He enjoys the format, we just haven't done one in a while."

The president last held a prime time news conference on July 22, 2009.


Filed under: President Obama • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. seebofubar

    Must be that new transparancy and open communication thing. We just got it backwards.

    February 4, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. A. Goodwin

    Got to love it. Can wait for the RethugliKlans to make an issue out of what is very much a non-issue!!

    February 4, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Josh- Rochester, MN

    Wow! What transperancy! How unprecedented!

    Obama is worse then W....

    February 4, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. Showtime - Tampa

    Because he can't read from the teleprompter when asked UNSTAGE questioned (which happens to be most of the questions he has taken in the past)!

    February 4, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. Conservative Voice

    Tell the truth Gibbs...since the honeymoon between the press and Obama has cooled, he doesn't want to speak with them and risk having to answer a question tougher, than "If I were a tree what kinda tree would I be?"

    February 4, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  6. Bedtime for Obonzo

    I'm not surprised he's not holding press conferences. Why bother when you can get the same coverage with fawning, one-on-one interviews with the mainstream media, where no difficult questions are asked?

    February 4, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  7. tess

    the reason o'bama hasn't taken questions is that it takes a while to put writings on the teleprompter and that would slow down the q & a!!

    February 4, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  8. Shai

    He doesn't do press conferences because he prefers getting beach balls thrown at hime from planned media interviews.

    February 4, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    more of the same bs from obama.......what he says is not what is real.....he says he likes the press conference format yet he does not hold too many of them....I think he is just full of it....I don't believe him anymore and I don't think he likes the format at all......and you gotta wonder why? Bock Bock Bock Bock.......probably does not want his polls to go down any further.....haaaaaaaaa

    February 4, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Can't wait for the right wingers to complain about Obama's not doing press conferences and then adding that he's on TV all the time. GWB did about 7 press conferences in 8 years.

    February 4, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. BB

    President Obama will give a Press Conference when he gives a Press Conference. Good God people!!! Work on things that really matter. Some people are so trivial it's actually sad.

    February 4, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. Nimises

    Wait, they complained the prez was getting too much press; now they claim he isn't getting enough? Nothing can be one way can it? Seems there's always no satisfying some people.

    February 4, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. Old Farmboy

    One of the things in life that make you go, "hmmmm".

    February 4, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. Grace

    Barack Obama is concerned about his image-he as much said so when asked about transparency and why the writing of the health care bill wasn't on C-Span as he had promised. If Obama wants to prove to the American public that he does not need a teleprompter, then he needs to do more press conferences, taking questions from reporters-not sending his aides to do that. What we see is a President who is more concerned about his image than anything else. Basically, he is afraid to get asked the tough questions.

    February 4, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    What the heck are these people demanding now? Press conferences? For what, so that they can complain about him giving press conferences and NOT doing (fill in the blank)?

    John McCain COULD HAVE NEVER KEPT UP THE PACE THAT THIS PRESIDENT HAS MAINTAINED. NEVER.

    Obama is everywhere he needs to be, and a few places more. We cannot possibly ask any more of this President. Many, many are waking up to the constant and undeserved berating and micro-analyzing from the right wing of this man. You draw your own conclusions, but it sickens me to my stomach.

    Back off the President. Let him do the job we elected him to do, and help him be a better President. But stop with the bs already. He's a smart man, willing to work hard to restore our country.

    February 4, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. corporatememory

    Uh, his TelePrompter is down for maintenance?

    February 4, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. rob

    Good spin by Gibbs about the interviews but how about a follow up question from you crack CNN reporters on how many official press conferences his predecessors had in their first year in office?

    I guess CNN feels we don't need to know that.

    February 4, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  18. Stop the Nonsense

    This is so far beyond Ironic! The man is accused of too many speeches, too many town hall meetings and over-exposure and now he is accused of not giving enough press conrerences?
    You can't have it both ways.
    I realize a press conference is not a speech. However, he is telling us everything he is thinking and the White House does press briefings- with questions- all day long, every day.
    What question do they want answered thye don't already have info on?

    February 4, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. What???

    OH crude....Now You'll hear the usual idiots saying " Obama is in love with himself and wants to always be on tv " What none of those idiots will say is "the press is asking for more press conferences"

    Has anyone else been amazed at how clueless the GOP poles and supporters are? These people can hear news one day about something the President did that would otherwise be a tremendous benefit to this country and you'd think our POTUS just committed the greatness crime in the history of humanity.

    One for instance, this administration killed, not prosecuted, not mirandized, not provided terrorist support, but KILLED (dead as a door knob) more terrorist las year than any time during the previous 2 years. And we won't even mention the arrest of terrorist on U.S. soil. But yet the PUNKS from the GOP get on national tv and put us all at risk saying this President is weak on terrorism.

    Hello...Clueless ones.....Do you think that those listening to those comments, and want to do this country harm, might believe it? Thus attacking us because you say its easy. Is that Treason? I'm not sure....I'll take my answer off the air

    February 4, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "Is he overexposed?"

    "All he does is talk and go on tv"

    blah blah blah blah blah, etc.

    "He's not doing enough press conferences"

    Anything to stir up a controversy that grabs viewers and sells advertising, eh "news" media?

    February 4, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  21. all the news that's fit to omit

    So much easier to go on any network OTHER than Fox and be allowed to lie, obfuscate, lie some more and get out all your talking points while the "questioner" is smitten with all of the uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh so smart words from your mouth and THEY don't ask any follow-ups.

    The white house press group on the other hand will SOMETIMES ask tough questions and the gutless, lying fraud of a coward can't handle tough questions.

    No binkyprompter, not so uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh smart.

    February 4, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  22. Hammerer

    Hopenchange is busy holding pep rallies.

    February 4, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  23. campaign and marketing

    ... and Gibbs said, Obama only wants a one-sided debate. It allows him to slander, misinform and share propaganda.

    The half-truths and 'promise the moon' statements are getting old. No more focus-group approved, teleprompter speeches, please. Most Americans just want to hear the truth and what Obama is doing.

    February 4, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  24. Greg Pottstown PA

    The reason is that Obama can't take questions he can't pre screen.

    February 4, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  25. Jim

    Hmmmm...... Let me think for a minute, probably because he is no where near the white house, he is off doing fundraisers and Late night talk shows, or sightseeing in Copenhagen or Indonesia. Even if he was there what could he possibly say, "My whole agenda has blown up in my face by the american people who don't beleive my speeches anymore."

    February 4, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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