Biden Snubs Press, Ends Year On Vacation

As the year ends, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden have opted for a relaxing vacation in St. Croix, in the Caribbean. However, this decision also means breaking away from the tradition of an end-of-the-year press conference with reporters.

The White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, addressed the absence of a press conference during the last briefing of 2023. When questioned why the president wouldn’t “defend his record” before heading out on vacation, Jean-Pierre highlighted Biden’s recent engagements with the American people during his visit to Wisconsin. There, Biden discussed his economic policies, known as Bidenomics, and took questions from reporters on various topics.

Jean-Pierre emphasized that the administration tries to hold press conferences as often as possible, both in Washington, D.C. and while the president travels. She pointed out that Biden had recently held a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, where they each answered two questions.

The decision not to hold an end-of-the-year press conference has drawn criticism, as limited press interactions have characterized Biden’s presidency. According to The Washington Post, as of October 17, Biden had held fewer solo and joint press conferences than any previous president at this point in their term. The administration has relied heavily on social media and non-traditional media opportunities instead.

Limiting press access to the president has led to speculation about concerns regarding Biden’s age and his verbal gaffes. Some believe that by controlling his interactions, the administration can manage potential missteps or misunderstandings.

Despite facing challenges in the polls and criticism of his handling of the economy and the border crisis, Biden and his team are reportedly staying the course. The president’s approval ratings have reached their lowest point since taking office, and hypothetical match-ups between him and former President Donald Trump show Biden trailing. However, sources close to the president have indicated that there is no panic within the administration and that they will continue to compare their policies to those of Republicans.

As Biden and his wife enjoy their vacation, the absence of the traditional end-of-the-year press conference marks a departure from the norm. The administration’s approach to press engagement continues to evolve, focusing on alternative media platforms and limited conventional interviews.