At a recent meeting at the White House with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Biden can be seen mocking reporters as they attempt to ask questions from across the room.
After meetings like the one with Herzog, the “question-shouting” practice that Biden mocked is common, having been the practice for years. Biden has expressed frustration with this in the past, but the mocking and mimicking speech was a first, leading Bloomberg White House correspondent Nancy Cook to tweet this:
The Biden WH seems *particularly intent* on the press not asking any q's of POTUS 14 days out from the midterms, w/WH aides screaming in the faces of reporters who try to ask Biden q's following each event today.
— Nancy Cook (@nancook) October 26, 2022
The scene highlights what has become a somewhat contentious relationship between Biden and the White House Press. The biggest complaint from reporters is that Biden rarely holds press conferences or makes himself available for questions.
According to “The American Presidency Project,” Biden has only done a total of 17 press conferences since taking office. Compare that to President Trump’s 88 in four years, President Obama’s 163 in eight years and President Bush’s 210 in eight years, and Biden is on pace for far less than half the number of press conferences held by his closest contemporaries.
On top of his lack of access and transparency, Biden is also known for being hostile to members of the press, and especially those that do not agree with him. He called ABC’s Kelly O’Donnell a pain in the neck, used a curse word to describe Fox News’ Peter Doocy and called a female reporter a “kid.”
In one memorable exchange, Fox News recounts Biden snapping at a reporter for asking him a question about economists warning of a possible recession. “Not the majority of them aren’t saying that. Come on, don’t make things up, OK? Now you sound like a Republican politician,” Biden replied to the reporter. “I’m joking, that was a joke.”
When a president has the approval rating that Biden does, there is only one reason that you hide him from the press rather than getting him out there to do damage control. It seems clear that the White House fears that Biden might look too much like Fetterman did in his debate with Dr. Oz and have chosen to keep him out of the press as much as possible.