You can imagine that intent will be swept away by questions about weapons and immigration, but the White House is hoping that President Joe Biden today can tout his success in getting the Covid-19 relief bill through Congress so early in the day. its administration. .
Jonathan Lemire and Zeke Miller write for the Associated Press that he is the first CEO in four decades to reach this point in his tenure without having a formal question-and-answer session. He will meet with reporters for the nationally televised evening event in the East Room of the White House.
“It’s an opportunity for him to speak to the American people, obviously directly through the coverage, directly through all of you,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters aboard the Air Force One. “And I think he’s thinking about what he wants to say, what he wants to broadcast, where he can provide updates, and, you know, he looks forward to the opportunity to interact with a free press.”
Conservative critics of Biden have pointed to the delay to suggest that Biden was being protected by his staff. West Wing aides have dismissed questions about a press conference as a Washington obsession, pointing to Biden’s high approval ratings and suggesting that the general public is not concerned about the event.
Backstage attendees have taken the event seriously enough to hold a mock session with the president earlier this week. And there is some concern that Biden, a self-proclaimed “bug machine,” could deliver a message and spawn a series of unflattering news cycles.
Firmly promising his belief in freedom of the press, Biden has rebuked his predecessor’s inflammatory rhetoric towards the media, including Donald Trump’s references to reporters as “the enemy of the people.” Biden restored the daily press conference, which had died out under Trump, opening a window on the functioning of the White House.
Biden will point to an increase in vaccine distribution, encouraging signs in the economy and the benefits that Americans will receive from the comprehensive stimulus package.
But his appearance will come just a day after he appointed Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the government’s response to the situation on the U.S.-Mexico border, where the administration faces a growing humanitarian and political challenge that threatens to overshadow the Biden’s legislative agenda. Pressure has increased on the White House to endorse tougher weapons measures, and the White House has struggled to curb a national effort by Republican legislatures to toughen electoral laws.