President Joe Biden held his first formal press conference on Thursday, and while devoid of dramatics, it did hold a nuggets of entertainment. Republicans especially seized on a few points.
For instance, they didn’t like that Biden took only a limited number of questions. And to many, it felt even more restrictive because only “pre-selected” journalists were allowed to ask those questions.
But something else slipped out just hours after the conference was over — and it may not be a good look for POTUS.
When Biden was campaigning in 2020, he frequently came under fire for failing to specifically answer questions, and for flubbing names and statistics.
Many Conservatives and right-wing politicos accused Biden of being unable to hold a public speech without cue cards, and other forms of immediate assistance.
That assistance was apparently needed during this week’s conference, too, as evidenced by a few telling photos.
This is precisely the sort of thing the President was hoping to avoid, because it may reflect on his inability to answer questions on the fly without notes.
From Fox News:
President Biden referenced ‘cheat sheets’ detailing key policy points and the identities of attending journalists when he conducted the first formal news conference of his presidency on Thursday.
It’s clear that Biden has a very detailed set of cards there.
The one in the picture above evidently shows pictures of reporters and news outlets that attended the conference, and some of those pictures include a circled number.
Only 25 journalists were allowed into the conference and as the President was only going to take a few questions, Republicans wonder why Biden would need such a “cheat sheet.”
But it didn’t end there.
In this picture, we see Biden holding a card that’s clearly labeled “infrastructure,” and it holds several important points and facts.
The top bullet point notes that the U.S. “now ranks 13th globally in infrastructure quality down from 5th place in 2002.”
It also said that currently, “China spends 3 times more on infrastructure than U.S.,” which may be a very sore point for lawmakers right now.
But in the end, President Joe Biden obviously needed these helpful cards in order to make it through the conference. And compared to other presidential conferences, many say it wasn’t exactly demanding.
Former President Donald Trump’s press conferences often went much longer, and he wasn’t always referencing “cheat sheets,” either.
Of course, every President uses some form of notes (cue cards, teleprompters, etc.) when making certain speeches and holding press conferences, a point we shouldn’t overlook.
However, we’ve certainly seen political leaders go far longer and answer many more complex questions. One could argue that many leaders and politicians wouldn’t have needed notes.
This comes after Biden went 50+ days without holding a formal press conference, and various members of the press have been calling for more visibility and transparency.
We’ll have to see if the President gives more conferences in the near future, and whether or not he’ll continue to use these “cheat sheets.”