Obama has not taken a question from the press in more than two months
posted at 1:52 pm on August 6, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
Despite his pledge to preside over the most open and transparent administration in history, Barack Obama has been insulating himself from the press of late, according to Keith Koffler at White House Dossier. Writes Koffler:
The last substantive question Obama took from a White House reporter was during a June 20 press conference following the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. Obama allowed only six questions during the event, which was nearly guaranteed to keep him out of political hot water as the focus was on foreign policy.
Since then, Obama has held no press conferences, given no interviews to White House reporters, and taken no questions at the White House events he has held where reporters have been present.
At least the president has maintained his cheery disposition. Koffler notes that Obama laughed off a question posed by a member of the press following a July 26 Cabinet meeting. Here is the official transcript:
Q: Mr. President, can you tell us, if what the Colorado shooter did was entirely legal, how do you do more on this subject without any new laws?
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. I’m sure we’ll have more opportunity to talk about this.
Q: This afternoon is fine. I’m available.
THE PRESIDENT: Thanks. I’ll ask Jay for your number. (Laughter.)
Koffler observes the flak that Mitt Romney took during his recent trip abroad for ducking questions from reporters, which suggests a double standard, but clearly Koffler lacks a sense of humor. As the president might say, summoning up his best Mexican bandito impersonation, “Press conferences? I don’t need to hold any stinkin’ press conferences.”
For what it’s worth, seven weeks—or to be exact 44 days—is nothing when it comes to presidents avoiding the fourth estate. The current record for failing to conduct prime-time, nationally televised press conferences is 215 days, more than half a year. That record was set by President Barack Obama in 2010.
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