Press TV, Chicago
After more than two months of almost unprecedented delay, United States President Joe Biden faced journalists in his very first press conference.
Biden often read from prepared notes and spoke for just an hour. He selected the reporters who could ask him questions, and avoided the conservative media which has regularly asked that he finally engage with journalists without scripted questions or aides to help him.
Biden fielded questions on changes to voting laws and the Senate filibuster tactic, avoided questions on gun control, and said he expects to run for re-election.
Even though the country is in the middle of the worst socioeconomic crisis since the Great Depression, the mainstream media journalists allowed to attend awarded the largest portion of their questions to a problem outside the country’s borders: the increase of refuges from Latin America.
There appeared to be very little of the often extreme combativeness and skepticism towards Biden that there was towards his predecessor, Donald Trump.
During the presidential campaign, both mainstream media and social media companies were regularly accused of giving Biden preferential treatment. Corruption allegations involving his son went ignored and many said Biden was rarely asked difficult questions.
On foreign policy, neither Iran nor Russia was mentioned.
Regarding Afghanistan, Biden said it would be “hard to meet the May 1” deadline set for America’s total withdrawal, but he also said did not “picture” troops still occupying Afghanistan in 2022.
Keeping up his antagonistic stance towards China, Biden alleged that Chinese President Xi Jingping “doesn’t have a democratic bone in his body”