President BidenJoe BidenDNC beefs up its finance team Pentagon extends National Guard presence at Capitol through May 23 Blinken to appear before Foreign Affairs Committee MORE has no reluctance about talking to the press, his close ally Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.), the third-ranking Democrat in the House, told Fox News on Tuesday.
Clyburn, whose endorsement of Biden in South Carolina helped catapult him to a win in the state’s primary, said Democrats and Biden are simply busy with the COVID-19 package, and that voters didn’t elect the president and a Democratic House and Senate to satisfy the media.
The remarks come amid some grumbling that Biden has yet to hold a full press conference. The White House has said Biden will do so before the end of the month.
“There’s no reluctance on this president’s part to interact with the press,” Clyburn said after Fox News anchor and managing editor Neil Cavuto said he was curious “about why [Biden] is not doing any major press conferences.”
“They why isn’t he,” Cavuto replied.
“Simply because we’re busy doing other things right now,” Clyburn said. “We aren’t here just to satisfy the media. We’re here to satisfy the American people.”
Clyburn then noted the House will approve Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill Wednesday.
“We get this bill signed — done tomorrow, signed this week and he has already told you he is going to be out there among the American people selling this bill,” he said.
Bidden has taken ad hoc questions from reporters at the end of events or while walking toward Marine One, but has not held a full one-on-one Q&A session with the media since taking office.
After reviewing the last 100 years, CNN recently found that each of the 15 presidents prior to Biden had held a press conference within 33 days of starting the job.
Biden has come under increasing pressure for not upholding that tradition. The Washington Post has published at least two op-eds calling for Biden to hold a presser and the topic is brought up often by reporters at the White House daily press briefing.
When asked about the topic at last Friday’s briefing, White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiKlain: Biden likely to deliver joint speech to Congress after selling relief package to the public White House chief of staff: Young a ‘very serious candidate’ for OMB director On The Money: COVID-19 relief bill on track for House passage, Biden signature Wednesday | First new checks to go out starting next week MORE promised that Biden would hold a presser before the end of the month. She did not, however, specify a date.