- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 4, 2021

President Biden‘s livestream was cut short after he agreed to take questions Wednesday, adding to criticism that the Democratic president has yet to hold a formal press conference since taking office.

During a virtual conference of the House Democratic Caucus, Mr. Biden spoke from the White House briefing room urging fellow Democrats to sell his American Rescue Plan to the public.

“Staying unified as we complete this process to pass the American Rescue Plan won’t just make a difference in our fight against COVID-19 and our efforts to rebuild the economy, it will also show the American people we’re capable of coming together for what matters most to them,” the president said.

At the end of his speech, Mr. Biden agreed to take questions, but those questions never came, according to a White House transcript.

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And I’m happy to take questions if that’s what you — I’m supposed to do, Nance. Whatever you want me to do,” he concluded, according to the transcript.



A clip of the speech showed Mr. Biden‘s feed being cut immediately after he agreed to take questions.

The clip fueled criticism that the president has not held a formal press conference since he took office Jan. 20.

“It’s been 42 days and Joe Biden still refuses to hold a press conference,” Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel tweeted Wednesday. “Why is he so afraid of answering questions?”

CNN host Jake Tapper tweeted: “.@Kevinliptakcnn notes that an analysis of the past 100 years shows President Biden’s 15 most recent predecessors all held a formal solo press conference within 33 days of taking office. Biden has not and it’s day 42.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday they don’t have a date in mind for Mr. Biden‘s first briefing.

“We look forward to holding a full formal press conference, but in the meantime the president takes questions from the reporters covering the White House regularly, including this morning,” she said. “And his focus day in and day out is on getting the pandemic under control and putting people back to work. That’s what people elected him to do.”

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide