Josh Earnest, the White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary held a briefing with reporters today in Washington, D.C.
Reporters noted at the press briefing that it has been “quite some time” since the president has held a “full-blown” press conference.
Here is one exchange from today:
QUESTION: One other thing, on the — you know, the president this week has done a number of interviews — People magazine, “Entertainment Tonight,” local morning radio, everywhere — but we haven’t heard from the president in terms of a — a full-blown press conference in quite some time. Any updates on when we could see the president again?
EARNEST: I don’t have any scheduling announcements to make here today about a press conference, actually.
EARNEST: I do have a week ahead that we’ll get to at the end of this — at the end of this session, but I don’t have anything new in terms of the timing of a news conference.
The issue of presidential press conference came up again later, and at this time Mr. Earnest noted that the president had addressed Farm Bill issues, here is the full exchange:
EARNEST: The president did a bill signing in the Oval Office at the beginning of last week in which one of your colleagues asked a question, the president answered it…So, again, I don’t have any — I don’t have any announcement to make in terms of what kind of timing…
EARNEST: … (inaudible).
EARNEST: But the president — the president has spent a lot of time answering questions from journalists all across the country. The president spent a lot of time talking publicly about the issues that he thinks are at stake in this election and are worthy of an important political debate about the future of the country. And that is something that he feels a responsibility to do.
QUESTION: But, Josh, today he was asked questions about what super-hero he would want to be, what he thinks of the latest Carly Rae Jepsen song. I mean, doesn’t he risk looking dismissive of some of these larger issues that (inaudible) this week: Medicare, the issues that (inaudible) President Biden brought up this week that came under so much scrutiny by not addressing the press corps, the journalists who follow him every day?
EARNEST: Again, anybody who has listened to what the president has said on the — on the campaign trail, the president over the course of this week has done three and four events a day where he’s talking about issues that he thinks are at the top of the political agenda, that are so critical to the future of this country.
So, from issues ranging from dealing with the drought conditions, you know, a disaster emergency has been declared for more than half the counties all across the country. Congress has stood in the way. I should be precise about that. House Republicans have stood in the way of passing a bipartisan farm bill that was passed through the Senate that would offer additional tools for us to deal with the challenges of the drought.
The president spent extensive time talking about the production tax credit. This is a tax credit that supports the growing wind industry in this country. As I pointed out earlier, the renewable energy production has more — has doubled since President Obama took office. We’re making important gains in it, but there are also jobs at stake — 37,000 jobs could be put at risk if the production tax credit is not extended.
This is something that a lot of Democrats support. This is also something that a lot of Republicans support, but yet it’s something that hasn’t passed the Congress and is steadfastly opposed by the president’s Republican opponent. These are the kinds of issues — these are the issues that the president’s been talking about. This is what he spends his time talking about.
He also spends his time talking to reporters from a wide range of outlets and he does his best to answer those questions when they come up.
QUESTION: I know you don’t have an exact date, but will the president address the White House press corps within the next week, the next two weeks? (inaudible).
EARNEST: (inaudible) plan your own schedule around it? (LAUGHTER)
I don’t have any — I don’t have any guidance to offer you now. But as the president did last week when he — when he took a question from one of your colleagues in the Oval Office, I have no doubt that the president will continue to take questions from the august body of journalists that are gathered in this room.