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. John Smith

    The ROAD to no where? Did anyone watch the news clip how Palin built the ROAD to no where in Alaska? What a waste! This is so annoying!

    September 23, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  2. GOP Woman for Obama

    I love Biden! Palin not so much! I will vote for a Democrat for the first time ever because this nation needs help and McCain is not the answer!

    September 23, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  3. PUMA

    We don't care about press conferences. We want revenge against the DNC and Obama for stealing the nomination from the one candidate who deserved it:.

    Hillary forever.

    PUMA for McCain/Palin.

    September 23, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  4. Daryl from Seattle

    Biden has spoken to the press plenty in his loooooooooooong political career. We know where he stands, what he's about, and what he believes. America just met Sarah Palin and since we can't all walk up to her and ask questions, we rely on the media to inform us on who she is and what she's about. That's not possible if she hides from them every time the opportunity presents itself for her to show us what she's made of. Don't try and make it seem like Biden is hiding from the press. That's crap.

    September 23, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  5. Lisa D.

    When it's time to debate Joe Biden, Sarah Palin will call in sick.

    September 23, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    "To be fair, the famously talkative Biden has given roughly 90 national and local interviews, according to the campaign. Palin, in contrast, has granted just a handful, including one to People Magazine...."

    and that, my friends, says it all!

    For those concerned with gender issues, ask yourself would McCain be hiding Palin away from the Press if she were a man? I thought this was the woman who can kill a moose with her bare hands and compares herself, in her own words, to a pitbull in lipstick ...

    McCain is looking more like a sugar-daddy and less like an equal partner in a campaign ..

    September 23, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  7. Zaley

    Sarah Palin is pretending to be something she's not. All her speeched are well scripted and staged. No reporters allowed. Need I say more?

    September 23, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  8. Lissa in Montreal

    The very reluctance of the Republicans to put Sarah Palin in front of an open mic shows their fear that she'll mess up or reveal just how ignorant she is on major issues. The debate should be fun.

    September 23, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  9. Todd

    The United States is falling apart, yet, their are some willing to elect 4 more years. Exactly how far down do we have to go?

    September 23, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. Raluca, Chicago

    I am reading Joe Biden's book "Promises To Keep". The amount of involvement in the destiny of this country and the experience Mr Biden has is astonishing. During the cold war, he was at the negotiating table with Leonid Brezhnev and the prime minister of the USSR on behalf of the United States - just to give an example. So Joe Biden does not need to give interviews or conferences to prove himself. His wisdom and experience are more than enough.

    Obama/Biden 2008, 2012

    September 23, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  11. Matt

    Road to Nowhere in light of 1st year law school contracts law: She could've stopped it based on the principle of impossibility. She didn't have to adhere to contracts premised on the existence of funding for a bridge after that very premise was eradicated.

    September 23, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  12. JD in NC

    Wow, a man with decades in public service. He must be hiding something by not talking to the press. Plus, he's so scripted. He never says anything "off the cuff". How mysterious.

    This is a fluff article.

    September 23, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  13. Steven - SC

    Biden is hilarious... .bet most people wish he was nominated and not the angryobama....... That's going to become a metaphor – angryobama......

    September 23, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  14. Obama the REAL Change

    If the media was doing their JOB, Biden would not be compared to Palin.....He would also have been in the news all most every day because he has made several speeches since Obama picked him as VP, but the media was to busy running after the LIP STICK lady and as she continued to be OFF limits to them. They didn't get any question answered, but WHINED to the people about her not talking to the press. They were the ones who MADE her famous (any woman will not DO for our Country VP). They have allowed McCain and camp to make them look like FOOLSSSSSSSSSS!

    September 23, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  15. denise kroening

    Biden is our man. He doesn't need training and protection like Sarah Palin who should be sitting in her office back in Alaska. Go Biden Go!

    September 23, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  16. Maddie, Hartford, Ct.

    We all know (and love) Joe Biden. On the other hand, who the hell is Sara Palin? I guess we'll all find out at the debate. Good luck to the "pitbull with lipstick"...she's going to need it!

    September 23, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  17. Frank, MO

    Everybody knows Joe Biden – Palin ? No Clue.

    September 23, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  18. Obama the REAL Change

    Palin is smarter than anyone thinks...if anyone thinks this then I guess she is smarter then 2% who blog on here, including the person who made such a DUMB comment...........

    Any WOMAN will NOT DO in the White House!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 23, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  19. Joe

    Biden is the Hand and Obama is the Puppet. Obama needed some experience and hired an old man with gray hair. So maybe some gray hair is not bad about McCain.

    Campbell Brown's story tonight about her Road to No where she is trying to criticize Gov Palin, that was a stupid report and waste of CNN money and the Road was already under contract and when she took offfice she had to complete it. Campbell just proved whose side she is on, the old feminist liberal block head, but she is hot! She should be mad for Obama throwing Hillary under the bus.

    Sarah Palin is a reformer and the new blood of the Republican party, she is will fight for truth and justice against those thieves. They are digging against her out of fear. Biden is the old Washington that Obama wants to change, so why say he is for change and then hire the problem, the old Washington – Biden.

    September 23, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  20. Early Christmas Cards

    Merry Christmas- English
    Joyeux Noel- French
    Vesele Vonoce- Bohemian
    Feliz Navidad- Spanish
    Mele Kalikimaka -Hawaiian
    Merry Keshmish-Navajo
    Hyvaa Joulua- Finnish

    Seven holiday greetings for John and Cindy's seven houses.

    September 23, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  21. Obama the REAL Change

    Thanks God we have ONE VP candidate that isn't running from the media and isn't OFF limits.

    What kind of President or VP candidate would get such special treatment when it has been a MUST when running for any one of these IMPORTANT position to be able to show us the voters what they are about....ops.........that's right, McCain and camp thanks we are ALL dumb to buy what he selling....and it isn't lip stick......

    September 23, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  22. Canadian for Obama

    Palin is so scripted she is a muppet for heavens sake.This does WHAT for how the world see's women in leadership roles?? What a farce- a real circus. I am sick to the teeth of her already!

    September 23, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  23. Blue Suede Moose Hunting Shoes

    Dear Igioia,

    Any time you mention Sarah and Elvis in the same sentence, we know you're playing with our minds.

    News Flash:
    Sarah is not ready to be VP, and Elvis has REALLY left the building.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 23, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  24. Elise

    What a garbage story. Oh wait, I'm reading CNN, of course it's garbage.

    Biden isn't AFRAID to talk to the press like Palin is. She is terrified and has no idea what she's talking about on ANY issue – particularly with respect to foreign policy. If she talked to the press, she might make a mistake like she did last time – you know, when she said Freddie and Fannie were "tax-payer owned". Whoops! She has NO clue what she's talking about! Don't let anyone know...

    Oh wait, you're CNN – you don't actually report the news, so Sarah Palin has nothing to fear.

    September 23, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  25. Obama the REAL Change

    Well that's ONE way of getting in the NEWS....the media and CNN is quick to let Biden be their news when he makes a mistake or misspeak within a speech, but since Palin was picked by McCain that Friday morning, she has been telling lies about Obama and herself and they have been running after her for days, instead of calling her on her LIES, they are to busy begging the McCain camp to allow them to ask her question. It's OK Biden, you still will BE VP.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 23, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
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