February 4th, 2010
02:25 PM ET
4 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. Malik

    perhaps the last time they had a press conference they focussed their reporting on Gates and a Cop instead of Health Care.

    February 4, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. Steph

    I'm a supporter of President Obama, but I can't imagine anyone complaining that the guy isn't out in public enough. Seriously?!?! He is on Youtube, at town hall meetings, answering questions at Republican and Democratic party meetings, etc... People are now complaining just to complain. How stupid!

    February 4, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  3. Hall for Obama

    Dan Lothian, most GOP what President Obama to stay behind his desk.

    February 4, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. felicia

    The reporters are not on the President's side i wouldn't give them the time of day as well. Because all they do is tell lies.

    February 4, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. Hinky

    I think everyone is like me they are tired of looking at his phoney, arrorange, smirking face

    February 4, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  6. Baby Boomer

    I don't understand. First the press says President Obama is on camera too much, now there aren't enough press conferences. Can this President do anything that the press won't object to. Where was all the outrage with President Bush was keeping the entire country in the dark about spending, 2 wars, etc.

    February 4, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. WrongKindofChange

    They must be having teleprompter issues. Obama doesn't talk unless it has been carefully written out for him. It would look really bad if the world saw how dumb he really is if he tried to speak on his own.

    February 4, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. dg

    gibbs is a political idiot

    February 4, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  9. RCasson

    This is stupid. First they say he's on too much and now this? Why the hell can't they make up their minds?

    February 4, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  10. Orange Curtain, CA

    Obama has been busy answering questions from the Republican and Democrats in Congress the past week and just did the State of the Union. Dan give us a break already with your negative spin. Why does he need to do State of the Union + 2 QA sessions with both parties of Congress + a press conference all in the same month? Ridiculous.

    February 4, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. single mom

    I'm not an Obama fan, but I think this is a no-win situation for him. If he doesn't do enough, he gets criticized for not making himself available to the press. If he has too many, he gets criticized for 'over-exposure.' Personally, I think going on late night and Sunday news shows non-stop is over-exposure, but that's just me.

    February 4, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. zago

    They just want to eat up my president with crazy and foolish questions like the one on professor Gates' arrest which had nothing to do with health care that the press corps was invited for.
    The president answered real questions that have to do with the issues in multiple occasions. Most recently, he took questions from Amerincans hurting by the failed policies of the last 8 years on Youtube; he even went to the GOP recess and showed them he got the best arguments. Why is it important to be taken prefabricated questions from the elite and dismiss the American people's right to hear the president addressing real issues?

    February 4, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  13. sifto77

    I am sick of Obama and his whining about how he is treated by repubs–maybe he should grow up if he wants to be taken seriously–stop talking about himself for a change!

    February 4, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  14. Seth

    The esteemed President is much to busy for the press. He feels the best use of his time (and tax-payer money), is countless town halls to
    'sell' his product to the American people. right.

    How much does the Secret Service and entourage that it entails for the President to travel on Air force One from city to city to city?

    That would make a good documentary for Michael Moore don't you think?

    February 4, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. seid

    In several occasions the CNN doesn't post the name of a reporter wehn you post a story. It would be nice to include the name of the reporter when you post a story. Thanks

    February 4, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. Preston kk

    Pkm do what you have to do the rups are mean they do not know how to be nice

    February 4, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. Josiah

    what, and bushiepoo had like 4 total – course getting that lump up and active and caught up with all the lies took way too much time away from Cheney and running his dictatorship

    February 4, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. Dar

    Thats because it is to hard to answer unscripted questions and most of the press are hungry to ask the hard questions.

    2010/2012 REAL Change is coming

    February 4, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  19. Geez

    2 question to ask Obama at his next Press conference:

    1. Is it true that Eric Holder's law firm was defending Gitmo detainees and therefore his decision to try to move the cases to civilian court may be partially motivated by personal gain???

    2. Was Tim Gietner one of the unnamed SEC and FED employees who was found to be looking at internet porn in their offices.???

    February 4, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. c spurgeon

    Let the press go make their own stuff up. They do anyway with their opines...UGH. Term limits is the answer and lay off half the media. Restrict the opines to midnight or later and bring the comics on earlier so at least we get some laughs.

    February 4, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    Maybe if the press pool asked RELEVANT questions, unlike the Ed Henry questions President Obama would have more "press" conferences. As stated in NYT he has had more interviews and Q and A sessions than any other President.

    Just not catering to you whining press corp Cronkite wannabes.

    I am sure any of you are more than welcome to go to a town hall meeting or send in your questions via YOUTUBE.

    Maybe if the cable bobble heads and drama queens waited until AFTER a speech before they started toying with every word and NOT doing it over before the speech releases.

    Maybe if every word out of his mouth was not dissected 27 different ways, Fake the News now employs a "body language" expert to see what "he really means".

    Perhaps, if less sensational words were used such as "slams, rips, referendum and report card" were used to report the news instead of trying to MAKE the news, neither President Obama OR the American citizen would need to have an UNFILTERED view.

    I want the facts, just the facts and save your editorializing for the opinion shows where a bias is expected.

    I like that President Obama is answering real folks questions and not more of Mr. Henry's "press corp" tripe.

    February 4, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  22. Dennis

    It's all part of his "transparency' program. Actually, I think he speaks, it's to announce another program we can't afford.

    February 4, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. Gary, Los Angeles

    The only thing Obama can say now is . . . : I'm way over my head here.

    And that doesn't bode well at press conferences.

    February 4, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  24. SocialismBad

    Hmmm... Maybe because the main street media has passed the honeymoon phase with Obama and might ask real, probing questions about topics the Messiah might not like? He sure does like to control the message and this forum isn't conducive to that!

    February 4, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. leftisloony

    while obama is an eloquent speaker with the teleprompter and can handle creampuff questions from a friendly, hand-picked audience, he does poorly with real questions from a more skeptical group, as witnessed by his "performance" with the republicans.........( and yes, despite olberman's and matthews slobbering review of obamas Q&A with the repubs, it was merely a deft show by obama in how not to really answer questions).........and now, the news media is finally start to wake up to the charade that is obama, and perhaps the tone and content of the questions and follow up questions might be a tad tough.......hence, no press conferences..........but that hasn't stopped obama's relentless pursuit of TV time and most all the networks oblige him the air time for his incessant speeches........just when does obama find the time to actually do some work.....have a nice day

    February 4, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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