September 23rd, 2008
05:29 PM ET
11 years ago

Biden not holding press conferences, either

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Michelle ATL

    Biden we know, its Palin that we are all afraid of.

    Joe Biden has an excellent record, and is well liked. He is established in world affairs, he doesn't have to prove himself.

    Palin is scary....

    She tried to convince us that Obama was picking on her ...HELLO PALIN Obama hasn't even mentioned you.

    You are a liar.................

    September 23, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  2. Sammy

    Two weeks isnt bad. And yes the debate is coming up. However he must start talking to the press again soon even if its just for show and nothing important is talked about.

    September 23, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  3. Sarah

    Obama chose old politician for CHANGE. Maybe he wants to change everything to be OLD~~~

    September 23, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  4. sick of cnn's subtle bias

    CNN, what is the purpose of your headline: "Biden not Holding Press Conferences Either" ...? Clearly you intend to excuse Palin and the McCain campaign for intentionally covering up how shallow her intellect is, and how frightening her ignorance about the nation and the world.

    Palin is hiding from the law in Alaska. She and McCain are hiding from the press in America. Obama and Biden are not hiding anything. Please don't give readers the impression that they are.

    September 23, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  5. Michael

    Interesting how CNN feels the need to do a little "tit-for-tat" jounalism here.

    First of all Sen. Biden has done the interviews, he has taken the questions, people pretty uch know what his stance is on issues. When Biden is out stumping he tells you what his positin is on the issues.

    Sarah Palin, regurgitates the same lines all the time...

    "I Said No Thanks to that Bridge"
    "I call him the "First Dude of Alaska"
    "I'm gonna "shake" up Washington"
    "I put the State Check book on-line"

    Blah Blah Blah....

    No mention of how she is gonna "Shake up" Washington
    You said yes before you said no.
    Who cares about the "First Dude" except to say he is as corrupt as you.
    How bout Sen. Obama pushed through legislature to put the Fed's "Check-book" on-line. Benn there done that!

    Please for the sake of our Country, McCain and Palin please go away.

    September 23, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  6. Lesley

    Biden is getting very little coverage even when he does talk. The media only seems to report the few gaffes that he has made. Seriously, out of the 90 national and local interviews, how many of those have been reported on? I haven't heard one positive comment from the media on any of those speeches. 90, compared to a handful of carefully scripted interviews by Palin. Since Day One, he has been talking to and interacting with the voters at the campaign stops but very little was highlighted by the press in follow ups. How many town halls has Palin done where she takes questions from the public? McCain stopped giving anything but prepared speeches that he reads verbatim because he can't stay on message and makes gaffes and he refused to take questions from the press or the public long ago. This is way lopsided, CNN.

    September 23, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  7. palin 4 prez

    you guys are a bunch of cry babies, you just can't deal with a strong, intelligent woman who happens to think for herself and not how the NO(L)W tells her to!!!!!!!!

    September 23, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  8. the other jd

    a cardboard cut-out of Biden is still smarter than the real Palin

    September 23, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  9. Mikey

    All we have heard from Palin is prepared speeches and canned lines, mostly taken from those speeches. Her ABC interview was cut up so no one really saw the whole thing, and she was frequently unsteady and the Hannity interview was worthless, unless you like Hannity as a GOP cheerleader.

    So far, all we know is that she can lie emphatically, as in "I told Congress thanks, but no thanks" over and over – along with something like 50 other whoppers she has told.

    So, unless she goes out and proves herself on the campaign trail every day for the next 6 weeks, with lots of unscripted media availability, we should say "Thanks, but no thanks" to the possibility of a Palin Presidency. That's a bridge to nowhere we just can't afford.

    September 23, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  10. momis

    he held one 2 weeks ago...duh... what more do u want... let palin hold one

    September 23, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  11. Leimomi Matunding

    Biden is doing a great job with interviews and I am getting to know even more.

    Palin, forget it! We have no clue just where she stands and that is a great concern.

    I think Palin and McCain should not do any more trail campaigns just let us vote of their track record alone.

    Since Palin and McCain are not talking to media...just tells me that they have no respect for us as citizens.

    They can just go home now and let us decide.

    September 23, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  12. John

    actually its probably best for Biden to not answer questions, because he tends to put his foot in his mouth.

    September 23, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  13. bill

    Let Joe talk – he'll say something stupid

    September 23, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  14. Mccain said issues doesn't matter vote 4 personality



    September 23, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  15. Vic

    Talk about scripted speeches (re Palin) I'll bet Obama wishes he could script Biden's or muzzle him. Seems nobody knows what he's talking about fifty percent of the time. The other fifty percent do not care what he says, and most wish he would just go away.

    Now all the folks who make fun of Sarah Palin and her ability to shoot and dress a moose or shoot a bear should remember. They have a Broadway play that's run for years about the great Annie Oakley - the best markswoman in the world. Even composer Irving Berlin scripted the ideal for Sarah that asks and replies: "Can you make a pie? Neither can I." Let it go guys. Sarah's a winner.

    September 23, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  16. mitchell

    biden is awesome! he answers every question asked ,honestly. what more could we ask for?

    September 23, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  17. That's All Folks

    We've known Joe for 35 years. We haven't even seen Palin for 35 days, actually it's been 21. I counted because you guys are crazy loco–straight out of the looney bin.


    September 23, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  18. Matt

    First, why should he bother holding press conferences when you would publish your stories underneath total SMOKE SCREEN FLUFF like stories about Palin's speed dating at the U.N. in a transparent effort to give her the false appearance of having foreign policy and international relations credentials?

    Second, why should he bother when the press doesn't have the integrity to call it like it is and say what I said above about the NONSENSE the McCain/Palin campaign is selling...liek this U.N. farce?

    Lastly, this is totally misleading garbage CNN and you should be ashamed. Biden walks the walk and talks the talk and campaigns all by himself like a big boy while Palin hides in the corner, does whatever she's told, says whatever she's programmed to say and participates in lying and what can only be called a ruse to trick the people of this country into thinking she is safe to elect and put one step from the Presidency.

    Shame on you CNN...this is a blatant attemtp to appear balanced when all it does is show your willingness to pander. CONAN THE DELAWARIAN SCOFFS AT YOUR PETTY RIDICULE!!!

    September 23, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  19. Ron was a REP now a DEM

    Sae Palin has not given one yet, and John McCain gave one today first in 6 weeks.

    Media hype

    September 23, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  20. Libs be dopes

    Actually Biden does well for the GOP............

    Until this weekend I did not know there was TV in 1929 when Teddy Roosevelt was President. He must have gone to public school.

    Joe Biden, 37 years of tradition totally uninterrupted by progress!

    September 23, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  21. voter

    Hello Biden had 52 interviews with the media since being the vp nominee compared to Palins 2. This is like comparing apples to oranges. Get real and grow a pair. Start demanding why Palin is not being available for a press conference. People demand answers to her view on domestic and foreign policies.

    September 23, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |

    We are not idiots! Nobody knows Palin, who is anything but transparent. We know Biden-the whole world knows Biden! Palin is an insult to our intelligence.

    September 23, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Biden is a TEN PLUS , palin is a zero!!!!

    September 23, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  24. John, Flagstaff, AZ

    Should he? Republicans are whiners, worse than little children. They know they picked two big time losers. If Palin would give a press conference and would have to take questions from the press the election would be over before it even starts. Wake up Americans we are smarter than that.

    September 23, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  25. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Biden calls those who pay taxes patriotic. What does he call those who do not pay taxes?

    Obama calls Midwesterners names and also refers to lipstick on pigs. What does that mean Hussein?

    Obama says he will visit the 57 states. What states is he referring too?

    Obama has a funny name and is scary/. I don't trust America's Freedom with this guy who lies about McCain. Obama is pathetic and then there is his wife, who just became proud to be an American.

    When you go to the polls remember obama and his mean words.


    September 23, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
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