February 23rd, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Why is President Obama ducking the press?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama has set a dubious record - going longer than President Bush in avoiding a formal news conference with reporters.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/23/art.obama.wave.jpg caption=""]
It's been more than 215 days since the president's last prime-time, nationally televised press conference. George W. Bush's longest stretch was 214 days. I wonder why he doesn't want to answer reporters' questions.

Maybe it's because at his last prime-time news conference in July, Mr. Obama stepped in it, big time. That's when he said the Cambridge police "acted stupidly" in the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Gates. That comment turned into a media storm.

Since then it's been all about staying on message. Earlier this month - the president took questions from reporters in a mini-presser after showing up unannounced - on a snow day - at the daily briefing. He took a handful of questions for about 30 minutes. Not the same as a full-fledged, announced-ahead-of-time, prime time news conference carried live on all the networks.

One White House reporter tells the Washington Times the president seems "a little snakebit on the whole presser thing," and other reporters have said they're frustrated at not being able to "hold the president's feet to the fire."

The White House argues they've done more interviews with more reporters at this point in the president's term than any of his predecessors.

And that's true - the president is all over the media - doing interviews with the network anchors, "60 Minutes," Oprah, print reporters, etc. ...but that's not the same as standing before the nation's Washington press corps and making yourself accountable.

Here’s my question to you: Why is President Obama ducking the press?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Tony in Tampa writes:
It may not be obvious now, but I suppose that statistics will show a few months from now, what I, as a government inspector, am seeing in the field, namely, that businesses are starting to re-hire. Everywhere I have been for the past 90 days, the owners are saying that business is picking-up again steadily. That's my report, without prejudice from Florida.

Curtis in Kansas writes:
I couldn't be happier to be a Kansas transplant from California for the last 8 years. Sure, I missed the housing bubble, but I missed the crash too - so it's all good. The recession is not over in Wichita, but it does seem to be improving. Our housing prices don't skyrocket, but they don't plummet either. We'll be all right.

David in San Diego writes:
Yes, we are doing great. Thanks for asking.

Anna in Itasca, Illinois writes:
The recession is over for Wall Street bankers and CEOs of the big companies that send jobs offshore, charge more for their products and then post huge profits. For us, the end is not in sight.

Meg in Ohio writes:
Jack, Ohio is in bad shape economically. I don't see any end here. Some houses in my neighborhood have been for sale for years, up to 3 in some cases. We're in for a long haul in the Buckeye state.

Bill writes:
Jack, The recession is only over for those who live in the state of denial.

Dan in New Orleans writes:
The recession is still upon us here, Jack, in the state of Louisiana. However, the blazing occupation of the WHODAT Nation is an emotional bailout, and a stimulus offer that cannot be refused. A needed takeover, just short of militant!

Filed under: President Barack Obama
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Cheryl, Cocoa, Fl

    He's not ducking the press, Jack, he's ducking the answers. There were so many promises made that have not been followed through on, plus the promises that were ignored that he can't stand up and truthfully answer questions from the press.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  2. Laura

    To avoid over-exposure. Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
    Hollister, CA

    February 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  3. Ed Tallahassee

    He's a busy guy. He has to fix the enonomy, fight 2 wars, get the Democrats to get along, get the Republicans say something else other then, "No" and spend time with his Wife and Kids. Sorry the Media is a little low on the list, but he's got a long way to go and a short time to get there.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  4. Joe CE

    It not clear that he is ducking the press. He has had a lot of other actions going lately unlike Bush.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  5. JaneE

    Not too long ago everyone was complaining that the President was getting too much air time. Network anchors and print reporters get to ask him questions one on one. That doesn't sound evasive. How is it less accountable? It is on the record, isn't it? It sounds like the press corps wants to do a hit and run gotcha session. Considering the partisan nature of today's press, it isn't too surprising.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  6. Chris in Philadelphia

    Is he? He may not be doing press conferences but he had a State of the Union address and a few other appearances in the media. It is not as if he hunkered down in Al Gore's Igloo on the White House lawn. Besides wasn't he criticized for being in front of the cameras too much at the beginning of his presidency? Give him a break on this one.....

    February 23, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  7. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    He may not be interested in answering a bunch of stupid questions that people already know the answer to, or me may get some really difficult questions like you ask.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  8. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I agree that it is way overdue for president Obama to give an official press conference. Presidents don't like the answering questions when there is no good news to report. He did make himself available to republican members of Congress, answering questions put by them. But what I really would like to know is why senator Ensign is allowed to duck the press after cheating on his wife. Especially after being accused of paying a staff member off who's wife he had the affair with. Ensign was very outspoken on other members of Congress, including members of of his own party, and President Clinton, for having affairs, demanding their resignation. The press seems to have given him a free pass.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  9. Greg, Ontario

    He knows he isn't going to get a fair shake so why bother talking to any of you?

    February 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  10. honestjohn in Vermont

    He has probably finally figured out he talks too much and gets nothing done. Like he talks a big game but can't play it.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  11. Helen

    Oh really! According to your lot, he is overexposed. Don't you people check what you said few months ago? Now, he is not talking to the media enough. You are like politicians. That is the reason of the public distrust of the media. If I were the president I will stay away from cable news. Nothing constructive there.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  12. JIM Roanoke,VA

    Simple,he's afraid that someone will ask him a question that he doesn't have a prepared answer for. He will not be able to look into his teleprompter and read an answer. O'bama never learned economics in all his years of being educated.That's why he hasn't done anything about unemployment. He's always lived off of public service through the goverment. He doesn't know the meaning of running a business where you have to make a payroll. Balacing a budget doesn't exist in his world.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  13. david doherty

    Jack, what's that old saying, if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything! This guy doesn't have much under his belt too brag about! He was all full of hope & change at the beginning, then He met the wall, you know congress.
    Dave from peterborough, NH.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  14. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Obama and staff are probably trying to figure out all that Bush and Company did and are trying to come up with a strategy to correct it. It's absurd to believe 8 years of screw ups and deceit can be discovered and undone in a bit over a year.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  15. john .... marlton, nj

    No Script .... hasn't really done anything ...but blame Bush ! Let's be real ... He inherited a credit crisis and turned it into a reccession ... Oh, a couple trillion later and we still have a receesion ... ..

    February 23, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  16. Bobga


    Your question is presumptious. I do not believe that the president is ducking the press. He is busy trying to do the people's buisness. You guys in the press like to focus on the negative because it is juicy. I thought you were different Jack until you asked this question.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  17. Eugene Northern Cal

    Jack, Obama ducks the press because he can't think on his feet. No teleprompter, no formal news conference. Propaganda is best delivered, by a speaker who stays on message anyway. It would be nice to see the press grow a pair and hold Obama's feet to the fire just once.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  18. Howard

    The answer is simple. He cannot anticipate the questions, so the answers cannot be pre-written on his teleprompter.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  19. Nicholas Weber Green Bay, WI

    Perhaps it's because he doesn't think it will do any good. The more chances he has to voice his stance on the issues presented to him, the more the Republicans will have to work with. I don't mind this for the time being, but once this health care debate wraps up I expect some answers.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  20. Roger

    At this current time, the president screws up in almost every initiative he understakes. that's right he's ducking the press corps at the White House. The stimulus is not working as predicted by the administration. Health care bill is stalled and can be dead pretty soon. The economy is sinking and the jobless claims are rissing days after days. Overall, the president has nothing positive in his sight to discuss with the media. Most presidents want to go or talk to the media when they have some positive accomplishments to discuss and to brag. So far, this administration hasn't had nothing positive to tell the American people Except of saying: We're all in a boat that's on the verge of sinking and the Captain has no solution to solve the problem currently.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  21. Minesh -Troy, MI

    Obama needs his teleprompter. He can't write messages on his hand.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  22. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Hey, I've seen you guys at work. You ask a bunch of questions and want answers. Who has time for that.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  23. Mary Steele Yorktown VA


    Obama is ducking the press because his glory days are over and he can't talk his way out of his incompetence!! The one promise he made and should have kept would put him on top and regain some of his credibility. The promise was to "hold illegal employers accountable" which would open up 7 Million jobs for our unemployed, instead he is turning his back on our country and its people and spending like the GOP did. How sad, because mandating employment verification for ALL jobs costs no additional government dollars!!!!!!!

    Yorktown, VA

    February 23, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  24. Robert Johnson, Northern MN

    For the same reason he has dodged the press since he first became a candidate. Every appearance and statement must be carefully crafted, staged and controlled to avoid dealing with difficult questions so he can appear to be only what he wants us to see. Difficult questions make him visibly angry – not a good trait in a President.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  25. Kyle Irvine, CA

    President Obama is avoiding the press because his honeymoon is over, he promised "Change" to the country and nothing has happened, his health care reform bill is shot, he lost Massachusetts, and the lions in the press room love fresh meat.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  26. Mark, from Las Vegas

    He would show his true colors; a socialist and no idea how business runs. I hope you enjoyed the KoolAid Jack, he fooled you too.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  27. Layne Alleman

    Jack, You'd be ducking the press too, if you were as hated, vilified, and very soon-to-be the target of assassination attempts (from the news articles I've been reading). Let's be real here, the man simply doesn't have any of the answers that the press, or anyone else,for that matter, could have for him. He's just not an off-the-cuff kind of guy(neither was Bush, but that's another story). I don't see this man resigning, so that leaves only one other option, and personally, I believe that impeachment will lead to even more chaos in what is, right now, a totally dysfunctional legislative branch, not to mention the riots in the streets that WILL break out overnight. Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  28. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    No idea!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  29. Linda in Arizona

    He's a coward. I don't want to say that, but the way he has bent over for the republicans for the past year plus, I can't help but believe it.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  30. Skeptical in NJ

    President Obama is nothing more than a slogan and an image on a poster – to date he has achieved nothing, has lead no one and has displayed an arrogance that makes George W. Bush look modest.

    Though his logic about being a "good one termer" is a bit faulty, thank God he's ok with that.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  31. southerncousin

    He will only talk to the adoring press, not the ones that may ask him about his many, many grievous failures in every area. The idiot was never equipped to be president, but George Soros and the evil corrupt unions needed some dupe like him to steal more money from the American taxpayer and in that regard he is doing a marvelous job.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  32. Steve K

    The reason he's ducking the press is that he can't use his teleprompter.
    His memory is on overload and it's hard to remember everything.
    He's not supid, I would do the same. Who says he owes anything to the press anyway.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  33. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, isn't it obvious? He is too busy spending money the country doesn't have, to bother with the media. He just added $75B to the health care costs, gave away $30B to schools that can't keep students in school, much less teach them anything. He is spending Billions of more deficit dollars on a jobs bill that won't work, and is going to continue to pay Billions to people who won't get a job because they are better off drawing unemployment. If you were stupid enough to keep driving the deficit higher in the face of overwhelming public disapproval, wouldn't you be dodging the media?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  34. jimmy in greenville, north carolina

    Why? Because those pesky reporters keep asking questions! If they would just sit there and enjoy the oratory then everything would be fine.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  35. Gigi Oregon

    Jack, I really thinks that it's the same reason you haven't answered any of my questions. He/you don't give a rip. People in charge begin to believe they are entitled to ignore the... public. But frankly I'm tired of the Washington press. I put them in the same group as our Representatives. You can't believe a word they say. It's all folly.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  36. Scott Stodden

    I feel he's not actually ducking the press but that he's so swamped with all the problems that are going on. President Obama inherited 2 wars, is dealing with skyrocketing unemployment rates, a deficit that is out of this world and throughout all the problems going on Republicans are the party of no and will not work with him. I feel that the President just dosen't know what to next, its to many problems for him to handle and he just doesn't have any answers as to what's going on. President Obama come forward and answer to the American people and don't just give a good speech but honestly tell America what's going on.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    February 23, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  37. Ann from Newton, NJ

    He hasn't got a clue what he is going to do about anything they question him about.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  38. Karen (Virginia Beach, Virginia)

    Because he no more wants to answer the tough questions than he wants to listen to us! He would rather give a rehearsed speech than have to answer questions about his lack of leadership.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  39. BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa

    I'm not aware that he was. The Bush administration was famous for it, but I've never heard of an example of it since 2009. do you know something that we don't? If so, please enlighten us.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  40. Jackie in Newark,NJ

    What do you mean? You don't think going solo and taking on the hostile GOP in front of the entire world ( and winning big time ) shows moxie?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  41. J.L from NJ

    He's BUSY !!!!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  42. Ken in Beaverton

    He's one smart cookie. Stay away from the press and you don't stand accountible to the voters. His press conferences are so scripted that it sounds like a campagn speech, not the answers that our President should answer.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  43. Albert K., Los Anegles

    Jack, on July 22, 09, you asked if Obama risked media overexposure saying in six months he held four prime time news conferences which was the total number that Bush held in eight years. Now you say he is one day past the Bush record between news conferences and ask why he’s ducking the press. Lets be fair, “ducking the Press” is what Sarah Palin does; no video, pictures, or questions allowed, but maybe Obama watches the Cafferty File, in which case we can expect a news conference forthwith.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  44. Maureen (Sacramento CA

    Could it be that he has run out of broken promises.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  45. Denis Duffy

    Simple, Jack. If you don't have answers, don't take questions.
    Obama doesn't have a teleprompter in his brain, so the screen is blank.

    Denis Duffy
    Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  46. stevegee

    Because without a teleprompted speech, Obama is like a puppet without strings.

    Steve in Philadelphia

    February 23, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  47. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    With 10% unemployment, no health care bill, still two wars, maybe Ron Paul is the answer.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  48. The Broker.

    "The Press? Or just a Date-Stamp, of when something really is going to change?"

    February 23, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  49. BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa

    Maybe he has a few other MORE IMPORTANT things to tend to. By the way, what's wrong with the daily briefing? If the Press really had concerns, they wouldn't need any preparation!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  50. tom

    I thank he is staying away from the press tell he has got so things done. He is working on so much at once everytime he talks to the press he has to deal with new things that every one wants to make a big dell that week. Bush didn't talk to the press becouse they were not aloud on the golf course.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  51. lynn

    Jack why in the hell didn't you ask this question in August,Sept,Oct,Nov,Dec of 2009 when bush was hiding in the whitehouse ?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  52. Moe Dallas TX

    Not enough room on the teleprompter for all the "er's and " ahhh's " that he needs to answer..

    February 23, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  53. Frances Cappelletti

    President Obama has not been ducking the press. He works harder and is out there more than any other President I have ever seen. He has received more hateful, petty, mean and untrue verbal assaults than any other President. Clinton is a close second ,

    They also are the two smartest and caring of our Presidents.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  54. Chris - Sarasota, Florida


    Why is Obama ducking the press? Certain people might say because he doesn't want to admit what's going on. I say the much simpler reason, he's busy as all hell trying to fix the country! He's far to busy to talk to the media and deal with the aftermath of it. Given what's on his plate, it's understandable.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  55. Lynn, Columbia, Mo.

    Maybe he doesn't want to answer questions about Tiger Woods or other dumb questions. I'd rather see action than a forum anyway.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  56. Carl Ball


    The President is doing telivised Town Hall sessions with the public about every week. That is better than a press conference.

    Carl from Pahrump, Nv

    February 23, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  57. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    He knows that he has already dropped the ball in his first press conference and that his ratings are already low. This certainly isn't the transparency we were promised not to mention accountability.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  58. Lynda from Greenville, NC

    Wait a second now, wasn't it like 5 minutes ago that everyone was complaining that Obama is in the press too much? That the press was in love with him and he did too many press conferences? Seems like this story proves the point that no matter what a president does he will be criticized by someone.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  59. Brian - Lakewood, Ohio

    It's hard to believe that he doesn't realize what ducking the press does to voter confidence. Is it possible that he's concerned honest answers without a teleprompter or speech writer might expose hope and change as nothing more than smoke and mirrors?

    February 23, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  60. Steve from Antioch IL

    Come on Jack, we get all the right-wing nonsense that he is on too much, that he can't give a speech without a teleprompter and the latest that the planned health care forum is a set up to trick those rascally republicants.

    Of all people I would have thought you would at least point out the fact that he's been getting blasted for being overexposed and now you come out and say he's ducking the press? What gives Jack? This guy can't win for losing...sheesh!

    February 23, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  61. Matt

    I think that the reason Obama is ducking the press is because he knows that he doesn't have all the answers anymore. He has been shut down and torn apart to many times and can no longer handle it. He has started to notice that being the president is actually a job. Obama has tried to put on this persona that he is a god and nothing can go wrong in his term. Well my friends, he has finally opened his eyes and saw that he is not the god he thought he would be. I think that he should chill with the Interviews with Oprah and 60 minutes and work on the issues at hand. Like I dont know, the two wars we are fighting. The economy, how about some jobs for my town, where GM was closed.

    Janesville, WI

    February 23, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  62. James Johnson

    Obama knows the press and AMerica realizes he is incompetent and a liar.
    James J

    February 23, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  63. Homeless D in Atlanta

    I guess he just can't please everyone! It is not two weeks ago that some pundit or other was blasting the President for spending so much time in news conferences! Now you are not happy that he is "dusking the press".

    Is there a happy medium that the president can hit?

    February 23, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  64. Mantu

    President Obama is not ducking the press Jack. This guy has a lot on his hand (unlike Bush). Jack, Americans and rest of the world p'se lets be patient, supportive and pray for our president instead of looking for negatives all the time. God bless Our president.

    Mantu jr.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  65. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    This poor guy can't catch a break.

    This past summer the talking heads were criticizing him for being over exposed, to much air time. Now it's not enough.

    Is he ducking the press, or are you seldom satisfied with much of anything Jack?

    February 23, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  66. Nancy, Tennessee

    He's just a little shy, Jack. What's the saying, "once bitten twice shy".
    He stuck his foot all the way down his throat bypassing his mouth at the last press conference. Shoes and feet don't do well in the esophagus – you get a little choked up.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  67. Pete - Augusta Ga

    Jack –

    Predictably President Obama is ducking the press .... he HOPES the press & the public won't notice that he can't handle the job & that the country will CHANGE any requirement that he be held accountable.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  68. steve, allen, tx

    Maybe becasue there are no recepticles for this promptor.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  69. John M

    He is not ducking the press, he is simply adapting to the new ways of reaching constituents such as facebook, twitter, and other media outlets

    February 23, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  70. Andrew

    Shouldn't your question be rephrased as "Why is the President ducking the White House Press Corps?"

    February 23, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  71. Johnathan

    Simple Jack, He is ducking from the press so he doesn't get shot by the press or Dick Cheney

    February 23, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  72. Allan Shore

    Come on, Jack! How do you spell CHANGE? He's staying in touch in a different way–as you noted–instead of playing the game the same way. Give him some room to try to make things different and stop complaining when he tries!

    February 23, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  73. jeane

    Whine. Whine. Not too long ago all the complaints were he was on too much. Make up you mind. The press hold him accountable! Don't make me laugh. We get more substance from the Oprah/60 Minute interviews than from the gotcha questions from the press corps.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  74. Maryann Rose, Orlando FL

    Gee, Jack, it was just a few months ago that you media folks were saying that President Obama is 'overexposed'!

    There's just no pleasing you people!

    February 23, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  75. Alex

    Jack, maybe Obama ducks the press because the stock market goes down whenever he doesn't duck the press.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  76. Ken

    Because the Washington Press corps for the most part is composed of rude, egotistical jackals.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  77. Madeline

    Simple. White House press corps is so completely out of touch with the rest of the country and generally asks really stupid questions that don't help anybody learn anything important. So what's the point of a press conference?

    February 23, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  78. sharima

    I don't think he's ducking the press.
    He was being criticized for over exposure and talking to the press too much. every channel was saying get to work we're tired of seeing you on every channel. So, deal with it. You have 24 hour news and they have daily press updates. You can't have it both ways.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  79. Rob

    If the press were more interested in the story and not continual
    "gottcha politics", maybe we would get more answers.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  80. Sherry in Louisville, KH

    He makes himself accountable everyday. Even trying to straighten out President Bushes mess

    February 23, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  81. David in San Diego

    Another worthless topic–jeez!!

    February 23, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  82. Ed

    Why would want to deal with the media idiots more than he has too! After all the media is a large part of the problem. C'mon Jack, where did that bone headed question come from!

    February 23, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  83. hank, montreal

    President Obama does not take any questions from the press because he has yet to master the art of spin like his cronies have such as Geithner, Summers and other White House stooges. He hopes never need to tell the truth.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  84. Brad (Houston, TX)

    Obama is ducking the Washington press because, while adept at public speaking from prerpared comments, he is weak at answering spontaneous questions in front of a live audience. He governs by committee and flounders when he is on his own attempting to address the press.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  85. King

    Ducking the press?
    What happened to statements calling him a rock star who always wanted to be in the news.
    Maybe I'm wrong but can anyone tell me the last american president who has been this forth-coming with the American people and media?

    February 23, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  86. Jeff Hermann

    Ducking the press. Give me a break. Six months ago CNN was having panel discussions about how overexposed Obama was...how could he handle his work load, etc. Which way do you in the press want it?

    February 23, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  87. Curtis

    I'm not sure, Jack – but I think I saw feathers coming from under his suit coat.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  88. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    Is he really ducking the press? Or is he ducking the idiot questions from the far right wing and the F network. I've heard some of the commentary and it confirms the complete lack of understanding of what it means to bring the USA into the 21st century and to make American a better place.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  89. Vic Lewin

    The press is not interested in asking substantive questions. They are only trying to score some kind of "gotcha" moment. These just spin out of control in the media and it's difficult to maintain focus on important policy issues. Obama realized this after the Gates new fiasco and has been wise to avoid the press ever since.

    Vic Lewin
    West Windsor, NJ

    February 23, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  90. Joey

    I'd like to think that it's because he's too busy to have a news conference. However it's much more likely that he doesn't want to face the press to answer for his abhorrent inaction.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  91. Mark

    If you was taking everyone social security could you face the media.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  92. Alex Phillips

    Puhhleasseee Jack, Is this a serious question? This President has been far more accessible than that last clown we just got rid of. You guys criticized him for being everywhere, now you get mad cause he doesn't come and sit with a bunch or opinionated, truth skewing jerks.If and when you guys start reporting facts I'm sure things will change. I truly wish this amount of concern and oversight existed when we were being lied into the Iraq war.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  93. Ramon (Tampa)

    Obama cannot possibly prepare to answer questions from the live press unless the questions are given to him beforehand, analyzed, scripted and then put on a teleprompter. He may be great delivering speeches, but he is absolutely terrible answering live press questions because he becomes the real, unscripted real self

    February 23, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  94. Brian

    It's simple Jack...Obama can't talk without a teleprompter...

    February 23, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  95. Sherry

    He hasn't been ducking the press except for the Washington Press Corp. Why? Because it is business as usual. It is Washington.

    I thought he did fantastic going into the Den of No's. Their questions were the one's I wanted him to respond to. Wow and did he ever. He has made the Republicans camera shy only in his presence. Why is that? Gee, I wonder.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  96. John Metz

    Maybe he's afraid someone might thow a shoe at him and he'll not be able to duck fast enough . This would score one for the Republicans and zero for the Democarats in shoe ducking.


    Midlothian, Virginia

    February 23, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  97. Alfredo`

    I think the media is trying to have it both ways. First they complained he was making too many television appearances, now they are complaining he's not making enough. The Washington press corp rolled over and played dead during the Bush years, now they are aching to hold President Obama's feet to the fire? How about re-establishing your credibility by holding the partisan talking heads accountable for their so called facts they spew like so much hot air. Then maybe a Presidential presser would be in order.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  98. Mark Smith

    He is afraid to face the press,because in this setting the teleprompter won't work.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  99. art

    obama is not going to something like that because he is ashamed of the way this government has handled the crisis that affects millions of people. He cannot face the people who put him there to do a job that evidently he was not qualified to do

    February 23, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  100. Stephanie from Montreal

    Maybe it's because he knows that the press will focus on the most obscure and irrelevant flaws they can find, rather than the issues at hand. Sure, we all remember President Obama's misuse of the word "stupid" last July. I defy anybody to name even one more point that was made at the same conference.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  101. Ron Barz

    Ron from California

    It is pretty obvious why Obama is ducking the Press. Isn't it interesting that All those unfulfilled promises were made during the campaign, and how CHANGE would be forthcoming. If I were Obama, I couldn't answer the press either. I might even "head for the hills."

    February 23, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  102. J. King

    I feel pretty apathetic about it. The press complains over this because they want new material to freak out about. But to be completely honest, I don't really care if the Pres. has a single prime time press conference for a full term. He's got more important things to do than have his little pow-wows with the worlds most annoying profession.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  103. Rick

    Are you guys kidding me? Is this how the press now Bullies the President to be forced into an interview? The press has already hurt our nation with a lot of negative unobjective reporting. I am well imformed with the Presidents Agenda. Here is my question to the media, how about putting your effort in structuring positive day to day life situations that show that our Nation is recovering from one of the worst and the worst economy in the History of this country? God knows that you may just trigger consumer confidence that would assist in the re-start our economy?

    We need more positive news and less political coverage! Get it?

    February 23, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  104. Herb

    Gimme a break, Jack. When was the last time you saw a sitting President go to a meeting of the opposite party's House members to take questions from them without notes on TV. Compared to that the Press is a piece of cake. He ain't ducking nothing – tune in Thursday to the GOP Summit on healthcare. You ain't seen that either.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  105. Jon

    Why is the President Obama ducking the press? He isn't. He is certainly more accessible to the press than his predecessor by far–he is always doing interviews. But, if you think the old-school-white house press crew-prime time/live format is preferred; you just aren't getting it. Those prime time news conferences are expensive and full of pomp and circumstance with a less substance. The last thing we need the press doing is insisting they are anything else.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  106. djh

    Very simple. He dosen't have the answers to the questions he would be ask.
    He knows what the questions would be.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  107. Bruce Jabo

    Maybe his telepromters are broken.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  108. Susan


    Do you have any proof the President has actually "ducked" the media by not having a Q&A? The way the question is presented it presumes you have evidence the President has ducked the press.

    I am sick of the broken government talk, it is no more broke than 4 years ago or 14 years ago.

    Susie, Raleigh NC

    February 23, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  109. Bill

    Pres. Obama is terific at delivering a prepared speech. He is a great orator. However, he doesnt like "Thinking on his feet".
    One time, I saw him talking to a classroom of 6th graders, and he was "USING A TELEPROMPTER"

    February 23, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  110. Travell

    President Obama isn’t ducking the press. Just because YOU think or say he is doesn’t make it FACT. But you are entitled to your own opinion.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  111. Jeanne

    You guys are part of what's wrong with this country. You all need to back off and let the poor guy do his job without all of the polls, punditry, and foolishness just because you have to fill the airwaves with 24/7 "news." Whoever came up with the 24/7 cable news idea ought to be horse-whipped. And, yes, here I am glued to the screen like a robot when I ought to be sweeping the floor.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  112. Jan Brown

    So, first we jump all over President Obama for being in front of the camera too much – now we jump all over him for not being available to the media?

    I don't think he's ducking the media – for god's sake, the man is made for the media. The media love Obama and make millions of dollars off him. He has even shown up to the WH Press Briefing a few times.

    My question – when are we going to give Obama a break and stop hounding the man to death?

    February 23, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  113. Clay


    He's probably avoiding the press because factual news reporting is non-existent. Today, it's morel about creating narratives and finding stories with legs than in seeking out truth.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  114. FrankinArkansaw

    If I was a President I wouldn't face that bunch of negitivities for nothing I have never heard a positive suggestion from one of them just aggrivation and criticism....

    February 23, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  115. Allison M--Cincinnati, OH

    The President probably is feeling a 'little snakebit' by the press. They certainly crucify him as often as possible.

    If the Washington press corp only wants to 'hold his feet to the fire',do you wonder at his reluctance? Would you jump at the chance to have your feet fried?

    February 23, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  116. Butch

    Given the current state of the press, the better question would be;
    Why would anyone in their right mind not avoid the press?

    February 23, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  117. PMatos

    He is to busy,trying to get the Republicans legislators and senators to help the american people by saying yes,instead of NO.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  118. marcia

    Maybe it's because he's been around the country holding town meetings answering questions asked by the people of this country! From some of the nit-picking questions I've heard the press ask it's easy to figure out who he'd rather talk to.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  119. michael LV , NV

    Your question is rather "Mute" Jack , since no one in the news media holds Obama accountable for anything except for Fox news.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  120. Gary-Fountain Valley

    Jack, night time press conferences, versus numerous individual interviews by the network anchors, print press and the Washington press, its a distinction without a difference. You cant' tell me that the presses "pack mentality "and the apparent need to make themselves look "smart" in front of their peersi s necessary for me to understand the positions of the president. A group effort isn't necessary.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  121. Jerry Dallas TX

    This is a complete non-issue. First, as you note, the President has made himself completely accessible to the press and done numerous interviews. This doesn't even count the number of town hall meetings he has attended and taken questions directly from citizens. Second, you never state the precise questions you claim need to asked which aren't being answered. What are you doing Jack? Is this some sort of job stimulus plan for the White House Press Corps? Finally, it seems to me that press of late is more interested in having reporters interview other reporters about "what the news means" rather than going directly to newsmakers and reporting facts.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  122. vilcor

    Every time something is really wrong he lets us know,

    February 23, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  123. Bud Rupert, Reston, VA

    He's not ducking anything, He's the smartest person in the room and everybody knows it. That's why the Republicans are scared to death about this Thursday's meeting.

    What he is doing is trying to minimize his on camera exposure. This is smart. He was becoming over exposed – and he knows when to throttle back.

    He will be a great president.. Bet the ranch on it

    February 23, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  124. ricosickofrtwingers

    Yeah, lets find something else to gripe about, regarding Obama. We do we assume he is ducking the press? Nobody wants to wait out and see where things go...here's an idea, let us ask Mr.Bush or someone like Cheney or Beck what to do! My God!

    February 23, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  125. Bruce

    Maybe the reason is that his teleprompters are broken.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  126. Bob In Florida

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME, Jack????? The media and Republicans) have been bitching about Obama being EVERYWHERE on TV since he came into office. NOW, You think he is "DUCKING THE PRESS?" Maybe "you'all" ought to tell the President (and the country) how much, how often, how long the President is supposed to be on TV. It's kinda like the three bears, too much,.....too little, ah, just right!

    February 23, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  127. Erick Larson

    It is simple. The press ask inane questions that have no bearing on what the public would ask, or they pontificate on their importance of asking "gotcha" questions. Why should he stand in front of these talking airheads?

    February 23, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  128. Gary H. Boyd

    President Obama is an excellent speaker. No doubt about that. However, he chooses his audiences with care inorder to retain control of the conversation. The White House Press Corps is well versed and prone to ask in-depth questions that might prove embarrasing. Obama is smart and very smooth. He knows who to avoid to maintain that image.

    Gary H. Boyd Scottsdale, Arizona

    February 23, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  129. FrankinArkansaw

    What good would facing the press corp do...They never offer a positeve suggestion only critisim and most ofter looking for something that they can dig into with negitive intgent...f

    February 23, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  130. JoAnn in Cleveland

    He's hardly ducking, as you rightly pointed out, that he's granted several interviews to credible national media. The Washington press is not exclusively brilliant in developing questions that will hold the president accountable, and what's the difference whether he's sitting with one journalist, or standing in front of many - the Q&A session happens.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  131. steve- virginia beach

    Ducking scrutiny is what he does best. Just like throughout the Presidential campaign. Since then, too many video and audio tapes have surfaced that demonstrate his radicalism and true intentions and those of his likeminded cronies who he appointed. He knows better than to take questions from anyone other than his cheerleaders and waterboys. If Obama was as advertised, seems he would prefer to interview with his conservative critics to debunk what they've said and set the record straight. But I think there's a greater likelihood of pigs flying than Obama facing actual accountability.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  132. Karl from SF, CA

    So the Washington press corps is the only media that can ask pointed questions. Gee, how conveeeenient. I thought his other interviews were quite informative with as pointed a questions as The Corp could ask. Could he be busy getting important things past the Party of NO, you know the bald faced liars, and will take the victory lap when he’s done. He is the President, you know. I’d rather he get it done then just talk about it.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  133. Mickey LeRoy

    I think, honestly, the President is just tired of the sensationalism of the media. You guys never seem to do the whole story anymore–it's all sound bites and "gotcha" journalism. Tiger Woods mea culpa got more coverage than Congress or the war in Afghanistan, and those were choices made by all the news networks, cable included. Why should he treat you with respect when you don't treat America's problems with the respect they...and he deserve? Margot in Washington

    February 23, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  134. lee

    In the first place I don't think he is ducking the press. He's on tv everyday trying to explain his plan for this country and how he is trying to straighten out the mess caused by the past administration. So if you can't gather enough information from what he's saying everyday on the television then you must have mental problems. Why shouklld he answer your questions when all themedia does is try to turn around everythiong he says and make it seem bad. What the Americans need to relaize is that Prresident Obama is the president and he is well educated. You need to let President Obama do his job just like you let tPresident Bush do his job.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  135. Michael in Henderson, NV

    Does it matter? Now is not the time to nitpick. This matter is inconsequential, and we have bigger fish to fry.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  136. Michael

    He might want to do it Tiger Wood's way.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  137. FrankinArkansaw

    What good would facing the press corp do...They never offer a positive suggestion, only critisim and most ofter are looking for something that they can dig into with negitive intent...

    February 23, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  138. eli f

    Mr Cafferty you seem so frustrated with President Obama for lack of transperancy. But, do we really need more news conferences so these anchors can ask questions to bring their careers to frutation.
    It is more important to keep his focus on jobs, health care, and the issues of the day . It is not time to be critical of President but to support him in these extradionry times with so much on his plates left to him by previuos administration that was mostly on vacation.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  139. Steve

    Quite honestly Jack. Why not just accept a no for an interview? He is kind of busy you know?

    February 23, 2010 at 7:33 pm |

    Jack, you are getting so bittler, lately. Damn if he do and Damn if he don't. We have two wars, high unemployment, GOP spreadiong lies and rumors, the whippy Dems, no healthcare, airplane bombers, banks are draining us dry, and every body whinning. Give the man a break. hurricanes and floods. Can we all get along. If you have a better idea, besides hollering about the deficit, when millions of folks are out of work. SAY IT.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  141. Bill Price

    Come on, Jack. If this is the only thing you can come up with to squalk about, you need some help. This is your best question for the day? The one you want to bring up in Prime Time? Here's a better question: What makes you think that bunch of puppies in the White House Press Corps can come up with an original question that might help anyone, including us viewers, understand a single issue more clearly?

    February 23, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  142. A.B.

    Jack, this is an absurd question in light of the fact that the media spent five days complaining about Obama being too transparent and always giving press conferences. Now he is accused of not giving enough press conferences. Obama gives press conferences every day and has been transparent and accountable to the public. He has more than enough on his plate and does not need any more foolishness to deal with. The man is trying to clean up the mess his predesessor has left him plus reform healthcare and revitalize the economy. Jack find something else to report on rather than this nonsense!!

    February 23, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  143. nita

    Why should he talk to the press? That's what's wrong with the world now, depending on the press, and the sad thing is the press only tells us what they want us to know! Let's talk about more important things other than the president talking to the press.


    February 23, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  144. Yvonne

    The way the news reporters are NOW days, I would not talk to you that way either.

    I do not remember the last President Bush talkng much to reporters either and when he did, they were very very gentle with him. Always agreeing.

    Now, the reporters just try to "get him".


    February 23, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  145. Ann Perry Garland Tx

    Give the man a break.He did not get us in this mess.The Republicans got us in this mess and they want to blame Obama.I am sick and tired of them giving them a raise every year and when they retire or get voted out get big salaries.Something has to be done.What was that man name that was on trying to get it stopped. I would like to help him.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  146. Lisa

    Discussions like this only show me that we still have a long way to go in order to get anything accomplished. I don't feel that Obama is intentionally ducking the press, but I do think that he has about a trillion other important issues going on around the world that he has to stay focused on in order to keep "us" safe. Who cares if he doesn't talk to the press at this time, I'm sure there will be plenty of time for that when we all begin to work "together".

    February 23, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  147. Mari, Utah

    Not so long ago, the press was complaining that President Obama was in front of the cameras too much! Now its "dodging the press"!

    President Obama has given more press conferences than Bush did!

    Just last week, he showed up unannounced at the daily press briefing!

    What's up, Jack?

    February 23, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  148. Rick

    How about the News Press focus a little in forth putting the positive of our economy recovery? The media is partly responsible for the mess we are in with irresponsible negative reporting. Let the man do his job.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  149. Don Ritchie

    The Washington Press Corps is an anachronism.

    I can't get this guy off my TV. I saw his wife on the Food Channel the other day! I get at least 2 or 3 emails a week from him with a YouTube attachment explaining what's going on in Washington.

    And a roomful of wanna-be Bernstein's want to "hold his feet to the fire?" I wouldn't want to talk to them, either! Here's an idea Press Corps: the next time a Congressman hands you a press release talking about killing grandma or claiming that no jobs have been created by the stimulus plan: try fact-checking.

    Maybe, then, the President and I will start taking you seriously.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  150. Dawn in Calgary

    Uh..He's busy??

    February 23, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
  151. David

    Take a wild guess, Jack. Could it have anything to do with the media giving air and ink to the outrageous lies coming form the Republicans and brainless teaparty participants. A tea party is a spurious movement that embeds itself in the subconscious of non-thinkers who actually believe the falsehoods being spouted. Perhaps Obama is sick and tired of the media not identifying the blatant lies as blatant lies, and does not want to give the media a chance for him to lower himself to answer these spurious illusions. Just my humble opinion. By the way, Jack, I have liked your work from WHO TV up to date. Keep up the good work, sir.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
  152. lynne j.

    First it was he was too over exposed. Now he's underexposed. What gives?

    To me, he's a vast improvement over what we've had to deal with,
    one that shouldn't be named. I could care less, as long as he's trying to get something done. But it is Congress who needs to be called out to do it's job.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
  153. mike

    Bipartisanship has been a complete failure because for president Obama to succeed at "anything" (especially this early in his presidency) would be political disaster for republicans. Any press conference at this time would only serve to focus attention on the fact that He (Mr Obama) appears to be ineffectual. I think he has addressed the problem in numerous sound-bites saying that governing by opposing/obstructing everything presented while politically effective, is governmentally irresponsible. Until he figures out a way to get "unstuck", I don't think he owes us a press conference. Mike

    February 23, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
  154. steve- virginia beach

    He has faced the press. Every problem is Bush's fault. Even the ones created by Obama, Clinton, and other Presidents. That's his answer to every question they might ask.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  155. Bob

    Why should he bother? The media keep recycling the lies Republicans are churning out on a daily basis and do little to debunk those lies. That is not 'news'.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
  156. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Oprah and 60 Minutes already have high ratings with our without President Obama while the Washington press corps uses President Obama for polling purposes. Maybe the press needs to look at down sizing if they aren't getting the coverage they need.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
  157. Greg Turman

    President Obama thinks that being invisible is the same as being transparent. Semantical nuance that only a true intellectual could appreciate.

    Could also be that he has been busy rehearsing a new stand up routine that does not include those very stale lines, "Blame Bush" & "Blame it all on global warming". Those lines just don't get a laugh anymore and his T.V. ratings have vanished.

    Greg Turman
    Dallas, Texas

    February 23, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
  158. Marian Halpin

    I am from the UK and temporarily resident in Las Vegas, Nevada. I think the phrase "a prophet is without honour only in his home town" is appropriate in this instance. To say that President Obama 'has set a dubious record' is at best unfair. We applaud your president on many fronts, not least on his accountability to the American people on virtually a daily basis. President Obama personifies excellence and grace in the face of much unmerited criticism. He is not ducking the press and if and when he finds time in his unbelievable schedule to have a nationally televised press confernce I believe he will do so in his usual intelligent, measured, manner. He is an excellent example to us all and I am privileged to be lliving in America while he is the president.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
  159. Randy B

    Jack, Let's try an interesting experiment; let's hold the media responsible for reporting the news and not making it. Between politicians, the media, and lawyers the American people are surrounded by corruption and deceit. We are well over due for a revolt. Bring on the Tea Party... It is time for the people to take the country back..!

    Randy B, Odenton, MD

    February 23, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
  160. leebeth

    Hi Jack, you know what? :You press guys are very dangerous. You were the same guys that criticised President Obama for giving too much conferences when he just got into the White house. Some of you even likened him to a holiwood star. You guys should just give him a break to concentrate on the many problems facing the U S, There is one person that is ready to give conferences at will and that person is S.Pelin, but you have to pay.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
  161. Trudy,Berwyn,PA

    I'd rather he answers the talk shows and news shows than the out of touch Press Corps. They are out of touch and ask all kinds of technical questions . I'd rather he gets grilled by the talk shows, because they'll soon discover if he's for real or not. And I believe he is. The press corps is out of date and out of touch. Obama is moving with the times.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
  162. David Asgard

    I don't think a press conference is the only venue for providing the public with timely information. Reporters on feel they have a special right to question leaders. They are looking for sound bites or leads. In the case of cable networks, ratings are all important. Often, i think networks run with a story until something more interesting appears. "News" value depends, in part, on how the story is played. Sometimes a story is milked ad nauseam. The president has an inherent right to decide how to best make his case. The press has a right to persue a story. Each has a different interest. However, it's self-serving to argue the president has an obligation to play the press' game

    February 23, 2010 at 7:48 pm |