Last week was the big announcement: Joe Biden had selected Kamala Harris to be his running mate. The first day was nothing more than an appearance together, but the following day, at a supposed press conference, Biden and Harris skipped out before answering any questions from the press. The New York Times’ Jonathan Martin observed that this was “not a show of confidence on day two.” But the reporter who took the most heat on social media was NBC News’ Kelly O’Donnell, who also observed that Biden and Harris declined to take questions. “THEY’VE GOT WORK TO DO!!!!” explained one angry tweeter.
And RNC Research picked up on this video from Friday, showing reporters being hustled out of the room by Biden staffers:
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 14, 2020
CNN’s Chris Cillizza posted an analysis Monday explaining that it’s high time that Biden take questions from the press:
The last time Biden took questions from reporters? July 28.
The time before that? June 30.https://t.co/iELgW9bkpN
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) August 17, 2020
… it’s true that what Trump has done in terms of the media in his first term in office is far more damaging than Biden shuttering himself away from the media during the heat of the presidential campaign. But Trump’s transgressions being far more severe don’t give Biden a blank check to avoid the media and their questions. Especially because Biden has run a campaign centered on the idea of bringing back “normal” to American politics.
It’s not enough to be “less bad” than Trump. Biden needs to meet the standards of presidents who have come before him. And at the moment, he’s not.
As you can imagine, Cillizza’s comments drew the wrath of the Resistance:
I think we qualify as reporters 🤷🏻♀️
— Lulu (@lourdesgnavarro) August 17, 2020
NPR? You definitely qualify as activists.
Fact check: 4 Pinnochioshttps://t.co/6hP7cLh4BD
— James Speed (@nonunaspiare) August 17, 2020
Ciillizza misses. Again. And again.
— M Robinson Chavez (@mrchavezphoto) August 17, 2020
Take this lie down.
— DrProfNotMrs (@DrProfNotMrs) August 17, 2020
When he took questions, you didn't choose to cover it. So, don't whine now. I don't need any questions or answers (or debates either) I know who I'm voting for and I can't think of a thing that would change that.
— Anna Baker (@annacb421) August 17, 2020
He took questions earlier this month Chris…Stop it.
— Sailor Michael⚓✈ (@Megawatts55) August 17, 2020
So Cillizza is wrong, and Biden’s supporters don’t care if he ever answers a reporter’s question until after he’s inaugurated.
Now tell me when Trump took questions and actually 1. Answered the question asked and 2. Told the truth.
— The Bouch ™ (@PaulRBouchard) August 17, 2020
Why does he need to? Seriously!
— Sheila Marsden (@SheilaMarsden1) August 17, 2020
He really doesn’t have to, we know who he is. All he has to do is stay healthy and make it to inauguration
— jmarcille (@johnmarcille) August 17, 2020
That’s why Never Trumpers like Bill Kristol and others keep trying to convince us that there shouldn’t be any presidential debates at all. Biden just needs to be silent and let the media do the campaigning for him and against President Trump.
He could take questions, and not answer them, and then ridicule the questioner like someone else does. (Being with CNN, I would think this would be particularly obvious…)
Which is better?
— Shihtz-who (@Shihtz_who) August 17, 2020
This isn’t a story. And no, Biden doesn’t owe it to anyone to take questions from the media “at least once a week.” Trump, the actual president, is constantly let off the hook by the media for lying during interviews. Let’s focus on that.
— Ilya Braverman (@Braver_man) August 17, 2020
— Emily 💛 (@SDGoBlue) August 17, 2020
And before that…40+ years of press availability 🤷♂️
— The ORIGINAL BigHeadJoe (@BiggerHeadJoe) August 17, 2020
I honestly don't care
— D. Carson Davis (@DaronCDavis) August 17, 2020
— Laurie (@laurieCR13) August 17, 2020
Nah. We are all good.
— beth82 (@bethkoob) August 17, 2020
No need for him to do this. Y'all let Trump go forever without regular press briefing in 2016 and since he's been in office.
— Basket Politics 💛🐝💛 (@BasketPolitics) August 17, 2020
Honestly, I don’t even care right now.
— RynO (@RyanOsmond17) August 17, 2020
If he can lead the polls without uttering a word, I'm good with that
— Ronald (@RB_Scott_80) August 17, 2020
He will have plenty of time to take questions when he’s president. Let Trump get asked the questions and lie!
— Robbin ¯_(ツ)_/¯ 🧶 (@RaeMargaret61) August 17, 2020
Biden should take questions on the same day Trump answers them.
— Jeff Kozel (@jeffreykozel) August 17, 2020
I don’t recall nominees doing pressers until after the convention.
— TheRustyNail (@TheRustyNail6) August 17, 2020
Breaking out the Hillary Clinton playbook again I see.
— Hoff-mann Hoff-amazing (@OriginalBad) August 17, 2020
Yep … CNN and the rest of the mainstream media were all in the tank for Trump in 2016, reporting on Hillary’s emails like they did.
He can’t remember his name, address, let alone something regarding the country without an earpiece or teleprompter! Come on man!
— Rob D (@kvkarules42) August 17, 2020
It has to be scripted. He can’t do on the spot pressers, his dementia becomes too evident. This is who you guys want negotiating on the world stage on behalf of our country. Someone who can’t even do a simple press briefing without a script.
— (•_•) (@AsTheWorldBurnz) August 17, 2020
Laying the foundation to force him to resign if he is elected and get Kamala in. The only question is how soon after the election do they start pushing this? Before or after the inauguration?
— WayKoolJr (@MillerLatte) August 17, 2020
He will ask all the questions, man! pic.twitter.com/CKVH8jHbZ6
— Abraham Davenport (@aquaponicdave) August 17, 2020
It’s amazing how quickly Biden supporters will descend en masse on any journalist who even hints at criticizing the Biden campaign — and that they think Cillizza is carrying water for Trump.
Who they REALLY are –> NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell shamed and threatened by the Left for pointing out Biden/Harris refused to take questions https://t.co/bE4add9CRh
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) August 14, 2020