Sen. Cornyn Wonders if Low-Profile Biden Really 'In Charge' Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks during a press conference with Midland County Judge Terry Johnson (right) following a tour of the migrant facility south of Midland, Texas, Wednesday, March 31, 2021. (Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP)
Monday, 12 April 2021 12:24 PM
The White House media doctrine is "less can be more," Politico reported Monday — but Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, thinks the strategy suggests President Joe Biden isn’t really in charge.
According to Politico, the White House strategy is aimed primarily at keeping self-damage to a minimum.
"The president is not doing cable news interviews. Tweets from his account are limited and, when they come, unimaginably conventional," Politico’s Eugene Daniels writes.
"The public comments are largely scripted. Biden has opted for fewer sit down interviews with mainstream outlets and reporters. He’s had just one major press conference — though another is coming — and prefers remarks straight to camera for the marquee moments. The White House is leaning more heavily on Cabinet officials to reach the audiences that didn't tune into his latest Rose Garden event."
Though Politico reported White House communications director Kate Bedingfield's bottom-line plan appears to favor quality over quantity — or less appearances mean less gaffes — Cornyn had a different take.
"Is he really in charge?" Cornyn tweeted.
According to Mediaite, Biden's first press conference in late March was the longest lag in than any president before him in the "modern media era."
But the media news site argued comparing Biden’s approach to the press and that of former President Donald Trump is "very much like comparing the behavior of a television host eager to be a celebrity to an elected official that can't be bothered with reporters' questions."
Trump relied heavily on Twitter to get his message out and drive news cycles, and Biden is conducting fewer media appearances and leaving social media in the hands of his communications staff, Mediaite noted.
Cornyn's jab is not the first to aim at Biden's low profile style.
The book "Luck: How Joe Biden Barely Won the Presidency" released last week dissects a campaign strategy of "you put your dumb uncle in the basement."
According to the book, former President Barack Obama was reluctant to endorse his former vice president, fearing he would be a "tragicomic caricature of an aging politician having his last hurrah," so he has to be shielded from harming his own campaign.
Third time was a charm for Biden, as the "stars aligned" the authors wrote.
But the president’s deputy communications director Kate Berner countered that Biden doesn’t need to use social media to prove he’s doing something.
"We're not interested in making everyone crazy on Twitter," Berner told Politico. "We're interested in driving the message that Americans around the country know what their government is doing for them and how their taxpayer dollars are being used and feel confident in the administration."