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During the campaign, Mr. Obama initially was more open with reporters, regularly taking questions. But there were long stretches when he avoided the press.

During a particularly heated week before the Texas and Ohio contests, Mr. Obama held a press conference to discuss his relationship with real estate developer Tony Rezko that did not go well, as several reporters shouted at him once he walked away from the podium. Rezko was convicted on several counts of fraud and bribery earlier this year.

“Guys, I mean come on. I just answered like eight questions,” he said as he left the room, noting he was running behind schedule.

About two months later, he scolded a reporter for asking a question about former President Carter’s meeting with Hamas while he was doing a photo opportunity at a diner, saying “Why is it that can’t I just eat my waffle?”

As president, Mr. Bush has held 49 solo press conferences, though his last was more than four months ago. He averages 12 questions but took 21, including follow-ups, at his most recent July 15 time on the podium.

Mr. Clinton held 62 solo press conferences, said Martha Kumar, a professor of political science at Towson University and a recognized expert on this at the White House.

Mr. Bush has held 155 joint press conferences with foreign leaders, while Mr. Clinton held 131 total with foreign leaders.

Jon Ward contributed to this report.