White House Explains No Year-End Briefing
President Joe Biden has come under fire for not holding a traditional year-end news conference, with many questioning why he has not publicly defended his record to the American people.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was pressed on Thursday about the absence of a press conference, with a reporter asking why Biden has not made an effort to engage with the media and address his policies.
Jean-Pierre responded by saying that Biden has spoken to the public during his travels and highlighted his recent news conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. She also mentioned his interactions with journalists during his recent trip to Wisconsin, where he discussed his economic policies and their impact on small businesses.
The Press Secretary defended Biden's record by stating that he engages with the media whenever and wherever possible, whether it's at home or abroad. She also pointed out that he had addressed the press and the American people three times during his trip to Afghanistan on Wednesday.
Jean-Pierre emphasized that the President was "very engaged" with the media and made a statement on the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, showcasing his dedication to keeping the public informed.
Reporter grills WH Press Sec Karine Jean-Pierre over Biden's lack of press conferences:
"Can you explain why he doesn't want to defend his record to the American people?" pic.twitter.com/2XkrgGBBjB
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) December 21, 2023
However, with Biden's low approval ratings and concerns about his age and fitness for a second term, the absence of a year-end news conference has raised eyebrows. According to The American Presidency Project, Biden's average number of press conferences per year is significantly lower than the 22 held by former President Donald Trump, who is also running for reelection in 2024.
The reporter followed up by questioning the light schedule on Thursday, which lacked any press events. Jean-Pierre reiterated that Biden had made time to speak to the press the previous day and addressed important issues such as the Venezuela prisoner swap and the economy. She reassured the public that Biden and the White House would continue to make efforts to schedule press conferences both at home and abroad, just as they did last week.
Biden's record and his ability to communicate with the American people have been a topic of discussion, especially as he gears up for his reelection campaign. Many have criticized his infrequent appearances and limited question-and-answer sessions with the media, with some speculating that his team may be limiting his public interactions.
However, the White House has maintained that Biden is committed to being transparent and will continue to engage with the press in the future. Only time will tell if this means more traditional press conferences from the President in the coming months.