While a wide range of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s critics have accused him of operating a largely inaccessible campaign amid a socially distanced election season, there has been little data to drive their point home.
Evidence collected over the past several weeks, however, confirms that Biden has fielded only about half as many questions from reporters as his incumbent rival, as reported by the Daily Caller.
A stark contrast
Despite the clearly contentious relationship between the president and the press, few would argue the point that Trump is frequently accessible to those reporters assigned to cover his administration.
Those journalists might not be satisfied with the answers, but he nevertheless makes himself available for formal and informal briefings on a regular basis.
Not only does Trump make more appearances than Biden in general, but critics of the former vice president would also argue that the questions he does receive are often softballs that he is still unable to answer in a straightforward manner.
Meanwhile, the president speaks to reporters practically every day, either during official press events or in informal appearances as he leaves the White House on various trips across the nation or around the globe.
In a recent article, Axios shed light on the claim that the Democratic nominee has only taken half as many questions as Trump over the past month and a half. The piece cast Biden as the “luckiest, least scrutinized frontrunner” in modern U.S. presidential history.
“The media’s obsession with Trump — and Trump’s compulsion to dominate the news — allowed Biden to purposely and persistently minimize public appearances and tough questions,” the article claimed.
“The press still has time to rectify that”
Though the Trump campaign compiled the numbers cited by Axios, Biden’s team made no apparent effort to dispute their validity.
According to the data, Biden has fielded 365 questions from reporters since Aug. 31, compared to 753 answered by the president. Those questions for Biden reportedly stemmed from 35 local TV interviews, three national TV interviews, and two nationally televised town hall events.
Trump campaign spokesman Andrew Clark presented the claim as part of a challenge to political reporters: “Biden has been the least-scrutinized presidential candidate in modern history at great disservice to the voters, but the press still has time to rectify that.”
A Biden campaign aide claimed that the lack of questioning is in part due to the fact that he had already been “thoroughly scrutinized” throughout his long career in public office and during the Democratic presidential primary race. For many voters across the country, however, this revelation might lead to a resurrection of “Joe Hiden,” a nickname Trump introduced earlier this year.