President Biden referenced “cheat sheets” detailing key policy points and the identities of attending journalists when he conducted the first formal press conference of his presidency on Thursday.
Photos taken at the event showed Biden holding a card labeled “infrastructure,” with key statistics and talking points. One bullet point noted that “China spends 3 times more on infrastructure than U.S.”
In another photo, Biden was seen consulting a sheet that appeared to show the pictures and news outlets of journalists who attended his press conference. Some of the pictured reporters had a circled number next to their images.
Just 25 reporters were permitted to attend the press conference. Biden took a limited number of questions from a list of pre-selected reporters before leaving the podium. Fox News’ Peter Doocy was not among the reporters who were permitted to ask a question.
Biden answered questions related to the ongoing crisis at the southern border, his view on calls to end the filibuster, and an array of other topics. The president said he intends to run for reelection in 2024.
Critics of the Biden administration have called on administration officials to make Biden available to the press on a regular basis. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds daily briefings.
The use of note cards is not unprecedented at press conferences. In November 2019, Trump held a notebook with handwritten prompts during a press conference on testimony delivered at his first impeachment hearing.