Biden marked first year with marathon press conference this week
President Biden famously put his head down and rested it on his hands when faced with tough questions during an August news conference.
‘The Five’ panel discusses the ‘Biden effect’ as GOP support surges and president’s agenda falls flat.
President Biden marks one year on the job with a reputation for taking questions from the press less frequently than his predecessors, but that hasn’t stopped the commander-in-chief from creating headlines for bizarre moments when he does engage with reporters.
Biden has snapped at journalists, admitted his staff could scold him for calling on the wrong reporter, and developed a habit of turning his back on reporters as they barked unanswered questions.
Despite all of this, Biden has managed to remain a darling in the eyes of many liberal reporters who feel he can do no wrong. PBS White House reporter Yamiche Alcindor gushed the perception of Biden is that he’s a “moral, decent man” during her questioning of him at news conference, and she fawned over his performance at his most recent one Wednesday as well.
Here are 10 of the most memorable media moments from Biden’s first year in office:
Biden fires back at AP reporter over question about vaccine rollout goal: ‘C’mon, give me a break, man’
Biden snapped at an Associated Press reporter who attempted to ask him a question at one of his first events as president in January 2021.
While Biden signed executive orders meant to combat the coronavirus outbreak, AP White House reporter Zeke Miller pressed him about his previously-announced goal of having 100 million Americans vaccinated within the first 100 days in office. Miller asked whether the bar should be set “higher” to encourage even more Americans to get vaccinated.
The president appeared to smirk at the question.
“When I announced it, you all said it was not possible,” Biden told Miller. “C’mon, give me a break, man.”
Biden then got up and exited the room without taking additional questions.
Biden lashes out at CNN reporter, apologizes for being a ‘wise guy’
In June, Biden lashed out at CNN’s Kaitlan Collins after she suggested he was confident Russian President Vladimir Putin may change his malign behavior after their summit in Geneva.
Biden, who was walking away from his press conference, whirled around at Collins and said, “I’m not confident he’ll change his behavior. What in the hell, what do you do all the time?”
As Collins tried to speak, Biden stuck up a finger and went on angrily, “When did I say I was confident? Let’s get this straight. I said what will change their behavior is if the rest of the world reacts to them and diminishes their standing in the world. I’m not confident of anything. I’m just stating a fact.”
He added Collins was in the “wrong business” if she couldn’t understand why their meeting was productive before walking away. Biden later apologized for his outburst, saying he’d been a “wise guy.”
Biden repeatedly turns back on reporters
Biden developed a habit of turning his back on reporters and walking away, ignoring shouted questions at the conclusion of prepared remarks, throughout the first year of his presidency. It has become commonplace for the president to offer his signature “may God protect our troops” closing line before exiting as reporters shout “Mr. President” over each other.
Biden, often speaking from the controversial set across the street from the White House, has ignored shouted questions following remarks about everything from COVID to bleak jobs reports.
Biden jokes about running over journalist with Ford F-150
In May, Biden joked about running over a journalist who asked about Israel as he test-drove a Ford F-150 Lightning.
While touring the Ford plant in Michigan, Biden drove by a group of pool reporters, many of whom asked him about how he liked the truck that he was driving.
However, one reporter was heard asking about the ongoing Middle East crisis – and the president didn’t appreciate it.
“Mr. President, can I ask you a quick question on Israel before you drive away since it’s so important?” the reporter asked.
“No, you can’t,” Biden responded. “Not unless you get in front of the car as I step on it.”
“I’m only teasing,” Biden added before driving off.
Biden calls NBC reporter a ‘pain in the neck’
In July, while sitting in the Oval Office with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, Biden smiled but still insulted NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell after she asked him to comment on Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough’s announcement that front-line VA workers would be required to get a coronavirus vaccine.
“You are such a pain in the neck, but I’m going to answer your question because we’ve known each other for so long,” he said. “It has nothing to do with Iraq … I’ll answer your question. Yes, Veteran Affairs is going to, in fact, require that all doctors working in their facilities are going to have to be vaccinated.”
Photo of Biden burying head in hands from Afghanistan news conference goes viral
Biden famously put his head down and rested it on his hands when faced with tough questions during an August news conference on the botched withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan in what many critics have labeled the “defining image” of his presidency.
Biden discussed the bombings at Kabul’s airport in Afghanistan that resulted in the death of 13 U.S. service members and wounding of more than a dozen others. He eventually took questions from the press, including Fox News reporter Peter Doocy.
Doocy asked Biden if he accepted responsibility for the way things unfolded in Afghanistan after his plan to withdraw U.S. troops led to the Taliban taking over the majority of the country and the turmoil that followed.
Biden responded, “I bear responsibility for fundamentally all that’s happened of late,” before blaming former President Trump.
“You know as well as I do that a former president made a deal with the Taliban that he would get all American forces out of Afghanistan by May 1,” Biden said.
The answer resulted in a tense exchange between the two, and Biden ultimately slumped down at the podium and rested his head on his hands. The image of Biden with his head down was quickly shared across Twitter, with several people calling it a “defining image” of the administration.
Biden refuses to take Afghanistan question, walks away after offering to take questions at FEMA
Biden famously blew off a question about Afghanistan after offering to take questions at the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Washington in August.
Biden was at FEMA to address the response to Hurricane Ida and admitted he wasn’t “supposed” to answer questions but initially decided to go against his team’s orders.
“I’m not supposed to take any questions but go ahead,” Biden told Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer Jacobs.
Jacobs began, “Mr. President, on Afghanistan—”
“I’m not gonna answer on Afghanistan now,” Biden interjected before walking away without taking questions.
Biden’s marathon press conference
Biden marked the completion of his first year in office with a marathon press conference Wednesday at the White House, taking questions for nearly two hours on coronavirus, Russia, his inability to unite the country, whether he’d overpromised on the campaign trail, his speech likening foes of his election overhaul bills to segregationists, and more.
Among the more memorable moments were him appearing to give a green light to Russia for a “minor incursion” into Ukraine, snapping at a reporter who brought up his comparisons of political opponents to George Wallace and Bull Connor, and even his opinion on the state of the cable news industry.
Biden repeatedly implies he’s not in charge of when, where he can take questions
Biden repeatedly implied that his handlers set the rules and determine when and where he’s allowed to take questions from the press throughout his first year on the job.
The trend began with Biden’s first formal White House press conference as president in January. Following his remarks about his “Made in America” manufacturing initiative, a member of Biden’s staff was heard calling on specific reporters to ask their questions to the president, something that was similarly done during the 2020 presidential election and the transition period.
He has since continued the practice, declaring he wasn’t “supposed to take any questions,” he was “instructed” to choose a certain journalist, he could “get in trouble with staff” and even admitted staffers provide a list of whom to call on.
“I’ll take your questions, and as usual, folks, they gave me a list of the people I’m going to call on,” Biden told the press following his June meeting with Putin.
Press fawns over Biden’s ice cream pit stop
Biden stopped at an Ohio ice cream shop in May and the press covering the event got quite a kick out of it.
“Mr. President, what did you order?” a reporter asked Biden who held up a stuffed ice cream cone outside Honey Hut Ice Cream in Cleveland.
“Chocolate chocolate chip,” he replied.
Cheers and oohing were heard after the president announced his flavor of choice. The exchange, which occurred during at the height of the unprecedented border crisis and during the ongoing COVID pandemic, resulted in critics condemning the press for their kid-glove treatment of the commander-in-chief.
Fox News’ David Rutz, Kyle Morris, Joseph A. Wulfsohn, Jessica Chasmar, Yael Halon, and Lindsay Kornick contributed to this report.
Brian Flood is a media reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @briansflood.