Many in the media have taken notice of the fact that President Joe Biden has yet to hold a formal press conference — and one former White House press secretary believes she knows why that could be.
According to the Daily Caller, former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany speculated this week that Biden isn’t holding solo press conferences because his “staff does not have faith” that he can pull it off.
“It doesn’t always turn out so well”
McEnany, recently hired by Fox News as a contributor, commented on the developing situation during an appearance on the Fox Business Network with host Stuart Varney.
“[President Biden’s] staff does not have faith that he could stand at the podium and have a press conference the way President [Donald] Trump did many times,” McEnany said, according to the Daily Caller.
McEnany’s comments came on the heels of an incident that occurred Thursday during a virtual retreat for House Democrats. After he was finished speaking with the Democrats in attendance, Biden asked whether anyone had any questions, only to see his feed immediately cut off by the White House. It should be noted that Biden reportedly took two questions after the feed was cut.
According to McEnany, that bizarre incident demonstrates that Biden might not be the one holding back; rather, it could be his handlers in the White House.
“I think it’s those around him recognizing when he does speak it doesn’t always turn out so well, like calling Republicans Neanderthals as he did recently in the Oval Office,” the former Trump spokeswoman said, as the Daily Caller reported.
“The basement strategy”
Since taking office roughly 50 days ago, President Biden still, as of this writing, has not held a solo press conference, which has raised eyebrows in both the media and among a number of politicians. That’s especially true given that it’s a longer span than any of the four presidents before him. However, as McEnany noted, it’s not an entirely unusual strategy for the 78-year-old, gaffe-prone president.
“As you’ll recall Stuart, the basement strategy is what [Biden] employed on the campaign trail,” McEnancy told Fox Business. “He went something like 50 days and he only took questions twice and when he did they were hand-picked questions.”
McEnany went on to point out that from both sides of the political aisle, the “pressure is mounting” on Biden and his administration to hold a presser, which is not too much to ask given the variety of problems currently plaguing his new administration.
“The pressure is mounting when you have even left-wing outlets calling him out for this, but I would say it’s extraordinary that he hasn’t taken questions, certainly a 100-year record for not taking questions in a solo press conference from a sitting precedent, president,” McEnany said, according to the Daily Caller.
Given the increased pressure, current White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki indicated Friday that Biden will hold a press conference by the end of March.