HomeWorld NewsBiden's news conference takes abrupt, lengthy turn

Biden’s news conference takes abrupt, lengthy turn

NEW YORK (AP) — For the primary half of certainly one of his uncommon news conferences as president, Joe Biden caught to an organized plan, calling on reporters from a listing in a binder.

Then the president went rogue.

It began when CNN’s Jeff Zeleny broke in with a query that referenced considerations many Americans maintain concerning the competence of presidency, after the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal and the current scarcity of testing for COVID-19.

After Biden answered, Zeleny adopted up: “I’m not sure if I heard that you would do anything differently. Would you do anything different or are you satisfied with your team?”

Zeleny’s query opened the floodgates. Biden took to calling on reporters at random, and what began as a really conventional presidential news conference grew to become one thing else totally, stretching to almost two hours. Biden took some uncommon — and unusually blunt — questions when the session was opened as much as all of the journalists in entrance of him.

One 12 months into his presidency, Biden has been criticized for holding fewer news conferences than any of his 5 rapid predecessors after their first years, and taking part in fewer one-on-one media interviews.

He engaged in some jousting with Fox News Channel’s Peter Doocy, whose community has been relentlessly important of Biden.

“You always ask me the nicest questions,” Biden stated.

Said Doocy, “I have a whole binder full.”

“I know you do,” Biden stated. “None of them make a lot of sense to me. Fire away.”

He chuckled when Doocy requested, “Why are you trying so hard in your first year to pull the country so far to the left?

“Well, I’m not,” Biden replied.

“You guys have been trying to convince me that I’m Bernie Sanders,” Biden said. “I’m not. I like him. I’m not Bernie Sanders. I’m not a socialist. I’m a mainstream Democrat.”

Biden called on James Rosen of the conservative Newsmax network, who asked the president about a poll that found a significant percentage of respondents questioning whether or not he was mentally fit.

“I’ll let you all make the judgment whether they’re correct or not,” Biden replied sharply. “Next.”

Rosen pressed on, wondering why he thought many Americans have “profound concerns about your cognitive fitness.”

“I’ve no idea,” Biden said, and moved on.

A New York Post reporter asked Biden why he had not asked the Chinese president during a virtual summit in November for more transparency in the hunt to find the origins of COVID-19, and “whether that had anything to do with your son’s involvement with an investment firm controlled by Chinese state-controlled interests.”

Biden said that he had brought up the issue of transparency and ignored the question about his son Hunter.

Biden alluded to the criticisms about the infrequency of his meetings with the press, joking with one reporter who had just been assigned to the White House that “we always have long press conferences.”

But for his staff, well aware of Biden’s history before the presidency of getting himself in trouble with gaffes, the news conference was a high-wire act the likes of which he hadn’t attempted before. It left a lot of news for journalists to unpack, on such matters as his legislative priorities and the confrontation with Russia over Ukraine.

He grew offended at one level when he believed reporters weren’t precisely quoting his fiery speech on voting rights, and mused at size about how he’s lined on cable news.

Despite the size, there have been nonetheless questions shouted on the president when he turned and left the rostrum.

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