Sat. Apr 13th, 2024
alert-–-biden-set-to-shun-national-media-and-do-even-fewer-major-interviews-during-campaign:-aides-plan-to-book-gaffe-prone-president-with-local-news-outlets-and-‘influencers’-in-swing-states-insteadAlert – Biden set to SHUN national media and do even fewer major interviews during campaign: Aides plan to book gaffe-prone president with local news outlets and ‘influencers’ in swing states instead

President Joe Biden is set to shun the national media and do even fewer major interviews during the 2024 campaign, instead booking sit-downs with local news outlets and ‘influencers’ instead.

The Hill reported Thursday on the strategy, with aides noting that it was deployed in 2020 as well, and helped him win the White House over now former President Donald Trump. 

One longtime aide told the newspaper that by focusing on local outlets, ‘You get more bang for your buck.’ 

And the gaffe-prone president enjoys talking about local issues instead of the news-of-the-day questions and queries about his poll numbers that he gets from the national press, the report said.  

‘It’s always helpful when the president can speak to a community specifically about his accomplishments without all the noise,’ the aide said. ‘It’s more effective … than sitting down with a network, where many of the voters are already going to vote for you anyway.’ 

President Joe Biden is set to shun the national media, instead booking sit-downs with local news outlets and 'influencers.' The Biden campaign released a photo of the president taping the SmartLess podcast on Thursday during his trip to New York City

President Joe Biden is set to shun the national media, instead booking sit-downs with local news outlets and ‘influencers.’ The Biden campaign released a photo of the president taping the SmartLess podcast on Thursday during his trip to New York City 

Comedians Jason Bateman (left), Will Arnett (third from left) and Sean Hayes (second from right) taped an interview of their SmartLess podcast Thursday with President Joe Biden (third from right), former Presidents Barack Obama (second from left) and Bill Clinton (right)

Comedians Jason Bateman (left), Will Arnett (third from left) and Sean Hayes (second from right) taped an interview of their SmartLess podcast Thursday with President Joe Biden (third from right), former Presidents Barack Obama (second from left) and Bill Clinton (right) 

President Joe Biden (left) arrives in New York City Thursday with former President Barack Obama (right) in tow. The two will be joined by former President Bill Clinton for a podcast interview with three Hollywood comedians - in lieu of a traditional broadcast or print Q&A

President Joe Biden (left) arrives in New York City Thursday with former President Barack Obama (right) in tow. The two will be joined by former President Bill Clinton for a podcast interview with three Hollywood comedians – in lieu of a traditional broadcast or print Q&A 

During his first three years in office, Biden lagged way behind Trump in giving interviews. 

As of January 20 of this year he sat down with reporters 86 times, compared to Trump’s 300, according to data compiled by Martha Kumar, an emeritus political science professor at Towson University, who studies White House communications. 

More recently, Biden taped an interview with MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart during a trip to Atlanta, Georgia earlier this month, which was part of an opening two-day campaign trail swing, as he officially became the presumptive Democratic nominee. 

That came after passing on the traditional presidential Super Bowl interview, which would have been with CBS, the network broadcasting the game. 

After his sit-down with Capehart, Biden spoke to two influential Latino journalists –  Alex Lucas on Nueva Network and Raul Molinar on Univision Radio – ahead of a three-state trip in mid-March to Nevada, Arizona and Texas to shore up his support among Latino voters. 

He also invited a number of TikTok influencers to the White House ahead of his March 8 State of the Union address. 

And on Thursday, Biden, former President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton taped an episode of the SmartLess podcast, hosted by comedians Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett – ahead of their $25 million star-studded fundraiser at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. 

President Joe Biden (right) sat down with MSNBC's Jonathan Capehart (left) in Atlanta as he kicked off his general election campaign. The Hill reported Thursday that Biden will shun most of the national media and talk to local outlets and influencers through the 2024 campaign

President Joe Biden (right) sat down with MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart (left) in Atlanta as he kicked off his general election campaign. The Hill reported Thursday that Biden will shun most of the national media and talk to local outlets and influencers through the 2024 campaign 

President Joe Biden departs the White House on March 7 to deliver his State of the Union address. Ahead of the speech, the White House invited a number of Tik Tok influencers over and they're seen watching the president leave from the Truman Balcony

President Joe Biden departs the White House on March 7 to deliver his State of the Union address. Ahead of the speech, the White House invited a number of Tik Tok influencers over and they’re seen watching the president leave from the Truman Balcony 

Biden also appeared on an episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers on a New York trip last month. 

At the same time, Biden has never addressed the White House press from the podium of the briefing room. 

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump made appearances in front of the White House press corps nearly every week day. 

And Biden press conferences are scarce. 

As of January 20, he’s held 33 press conferences to Trump’s 49, according to Kumar’s data, while Obama was up to 65 during this point in his tenure.

The White House has often said that Biden won’t do a press conference with a foreign leader because that country declined.  

Biden does, however, engage in chopper talk – speaking to journalists as he departs the White House for Marine One or under the wing of Air Force One. 

He did that 535 times during his first three years in office. At that point Trump was at 572, Kumar tabulated. 

Trump’s team told The Hill that the ex-president and presumptive 2024 Republican nominee is much friendlier to the press – despite often referring to journalists at his rallies as the ‘enemy of the people.’ 

‘President Trump is more accessible to the press and the American people than Broken Biden, whose staff doesn’t allow him to take interviews or answer questions because they are terrified of his failed presidency, disastrous policies, and declining cognitive abilities,’ said spokesperson Danielle Alvarez. 

Trump tends to turn up on an assortment of programs from Howard Kurtz’s Fox News Channel media show to podcast interviews with former aides. 

But some Republicans feared that he should be making a more concerted effort to get his message across to swing state voters. 

‘There’s been very little of that,’ one Republican strategist told The Hill. ‘And while I think Trump can get his message across to voters better than Biden can, They need to do a better job of hitting those local targets.’ 

‘It could make all the difference,’ the source said.  

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