President Joe Biden appeared to rely on notes for large portions of his first formal press conference in office Thursday.
Sixty five days into his term, Biden began by making remarks about the COVID-19 vaccines, getting children back into school and the number of Americans out of work. (RELATED: Joe Biden Has Waited Longer To Hold A Press Conference Than Any President Since World War I)
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) March 25, 2021
Soon after his opening remarks, Biden looked down at his notes to decide who to pick for his first question, ultimately landing on The Associated Press’ Zeke Miller. Throughout the press conference, Biden intermittently looked down at his notes to respond to questions and search for who to call on next. (RELATED: Biden Kicks Off First Solo Press Conference By Declaring New Vaccine Goal: 200 Million Vaccinations In First 100 Days)
Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy alleged afterwards that there were aides “monitoring what” Biden was saying, though he was “pretty much on his own” while standing at the podium. Doocy also noted that Biden relied on “the list” of reporters to call on, adding that as the press conference wrapped up, it remained unclear whether it was “the end of the list.”
Biden’s cheat sheet pic.twitter.com/8vfl5BT2mC
— Morgan Stanly (@GEanalyst) March 26, 2021
“I’ve never seen a POTUS bring one of those to a news conference,” former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer tweeted regarding Biden’s notes.
Biden muses off the cuff that the US ranks 85th in the world on infrastructure, then consults his notes and says it’s 13th in the world on infrastructure. (Trivial moment; briefly noting because this is a recurring Biden thing – wrong number off the cuff, factual staff prep.)
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) March 25, 2021
During one portion of the press conference, the president appeared to solely rely on a script when responding to a question about North Korea, Fox News contributor Guy Benson pointed out.
President Biden called on 10 reporters out of 25 allowed to attend his first press conference
He consulted notes before reading names apparently written by his staff
Biden called on AP, PBS, WaPo, ABC News, WSJ, NBC News, CBS News, CNN, Bloomberg and Univision pic.twitter.com/UUecJPDTjE
— Steven Nelson (@stevennelson10) March 25, 2021
The press conference also featured Biden abruptly cutting short a speech regarding immigration and expressing irritation after ABC News’ Cecilia Vega questioned him over the conditions in migrant facilities.