ABC News’s Jake Tapper noticed an interesting trend with President Obama. He hasn’t been around to take any questions from the press lately. In fact, he has evaded the national press corps for more than two months. However, as Tapper noted on his blog today, Obama did have time to talk to “reporters from People Magazine and Entertainment Tonight.” In addition, “during his three-day Iowa bus tour this week, for example, he conducted three interviews with local radio stations, including a sports talk radio show, and a roundtable discussion with columnists from three Iowa papers, in addition to sitting down with People and Entertainment Tonight. On July 12, he did an interview with Charlie Rose for CBS This Morning.”
Obama’s “last news conference was at the G20 in June, when he answered six questions from three reporters on the European debt crisis, the conflict in Syria, and the notion of politics stopping at the water’s edge. The White House press corps has not formally been given the opportunity to ask questions of the president on U.S. soil since his appearance in the Briefing Room on June 8 (when he said “the private sector is doing fine.)”
That would be a good enough reason for the folks in Team Obama to advise their boss to wimp out on the press, but it’s even more embarrassing when Mitt Romney has been able to appear on CBS twice this week, while Obama seeks to mediscare the senior citizens of Iowa. Tapper noted that, “asked if the president will be holding a full-blown White House press conference any time soon, Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday, ‘I don’t have any scheduling announcements to make about that.'”
It’s hard to imagine that Carney — who covered the White House for Time during the Bush administration — would accept that sort of answer from a Bush press secretary.
Ed Morrissey of HotAir described “the distance that Obama has put between himself and the White House press corps [as ‘mystifying’]. They’ve treated Obama with a lot more deference than George W. Bush got. Even the tough questions don’t usually get follow-ups, and Obama has more or less mastered the art of filibustering to limit the number of questions asked at these events.”
Perhaps Obama doesn’t want to make more gaffes, like his Vice President is doing on a constant basis. However, to run away from the press corps because they may ask you a question that gets your tongue tied is hardly a “gutsy call.”