Not a joke: Biden has history of snapping at reporters for asking questions he doesn’t like.
President Biden jokingly told a group of elementary school students on Monday that one of his jobs as president is to “avoid” answering reporters’ questions.
As he finished remarks in a classroom in New Jersey’s East End Elementary, Biden stopped to point at the press in the back of the room and say, “As president, see all these people here? They’re with you all the time.”
“They get to ask you all kinds of questions, and you try to figure out how you’re gonna avoid answering them sometimes,” Biden added, laughing.
Biden has been frequently criticized for limited media access and being overly scripted since taking office. On numerous occasions, the president has admitted to the press that he was only calling on journalists on pre-approved lists, or instructed to not answer questions at all.
“I’m not supposed to take any questions, but go ahead,” Biden said during a visit to the National Response Coordination Center at FEMA headquarters after Hurricane Ida touched down and wreaked havoc in Louisiana. When Biden heard the question was about the withdrawal of Afghanistan, however, he refused to answer.
At other times, Biden hasn’t addressed the press at all, simply walking off the stage without fielding inquiries, including at important briefings such as his speeches on Afghanistan. In the past few weeks, Biden has not taken questions on the poor September jobs report, a rising inflation rate, or the supply chain crisis.
Biden also has a history of snapping at reporters over questions he doesn’t like.
At his Geneva press conference in June, CNN’s Kaitlan Collins asked Biden about his meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin, suggesting that Biden thought Putin may change his aggressive behavior. Biden did not like the implication of Collins’ question and stopped on his way out to point his finger at her and suggest she change professions.
“I’m not confident he’ll change his behavior,” Biden yelled at Collins. “What in the hell, what do you do all the time?” He later told her she was in the “wrong business.”
It was behavior he also demonstrated on the presidential campaign trail, calling voters either “lying, dog-faced pony soldiers” or “damn liars” if they asked questions he didn’t like.
He especially didn’t like questions about his son Hunter Biden’s controversial business dealings overseas, erupting at CBS’ Bo Erickson and accusing him of pushing a “smear campaign” against him.