President Biden referenced “cheat sheets” detailing key policy points and the identities of attending journalists when he held the first formal press conference of his presidency on Thursday.
Photos taken at the event showed Biden holding a card labeled “infrastructure,” with key statistics and talking points. One cartoon noted that “China spends 3 times more on infrastructure than the US.”
In another photo, Biden was seen consulting a sheet that appeared to show the images and media of journalists who attended his press conference. Some of the photographed reporters had a number circled next to their images.
Only 25 reporters were allowed to attend the press conference. Biden took a limited number of questions from a list of shortlisted reporters before leaving the podium. Peter Doocy of Fox News was not among the reporters selected to ask a question.
Biden answered questions related to the ongoing crisis on the southern border, his views on calls to end filibuster and a variety of other topics. The president said he intends to run for re-election in 2024.
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Critics of the Biden administration have called on administration officials to make Biden available to the press on a regular basis. White House press secretary Jen Psaki holds daily briefings.
The use of note cards is unprecedented at press conferences. In November 2019, Trump held up a notebook with handwritten directions during a press conference on testimony delivered at his first impeachment hearing.