“The president is not doing cable news interviews. Tweets from his account are limited and, when they come, unimaginably conventional,” Cornyn tweeted on Monday morning, citing a Politico article. “The public comments are largely scripted. Biden has opted for fewer sit down interviews with mainstream outlets and reporters.”
He then asked, “Invites the question: is he really in charge?”
Invites the question: is he really in charge?— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) April 12, 2021
The Republican senator was responding to a Politico article published on Monday titled, “The Biden White House media doctrine: Less can be more.”
“Three months in, Joe Biden’s White House has settled on a firm press strategy: First, do no self-harm,” the article reads.
Biden has held one press conference since becoming president and is expected to hold his second press conference with the prime minister of Japan on Friday — it will be his first with a foreign leader.
Deputy communications director Kate Berner told Politico, “Our communications strategy is based on innovation in the digital space, flooding the zone in regional and coalitions press, and effectively using traditional national media. He’s the president, he’s got a lot on his plate. We have people fanning out every single day across different media to amplify his message.”
She continued, “We don’t let his schedule be a limiting factor for us. We use the Cabinet, they’re experts in their field. They also have audiences that they can uniquely speak to.”
The White House communications director during the Obama administration, Jennifer Palmieri, told Politico that the Biden administration does not “have the burden that the Obama team had of trying to convince people that a policy is going to make their lives better.”
“Joe Biden is never going to fill the news vacuum that’s created by the departure of Donald Trump,” she said. “But the administration writ large can do that.”
Politico reports that there is a “belief” in the White House that “Biden can be used best as a marquee player coming in at big moments when there is a need to reset the press narrative or push a major policy,” but “it hasn’t always gone according to plan — on occasion, the White House has had to walk back or clarify comments Biden has made in the interviews he has given.”
However, as the publication noted, “But as a strategy, it is a return to an era that predated the Obama White House, when the country heard from the president sparingly.”