President Obama told a heckler that he wants his press corps to ask him questions after he’s done speaking — and when he was done speaking, he walked away without taking any questions.
“Excuse me, sir,” Obama said as a reporter from the right-leaning Daily Caller website interrupted him. “It’s not time for questions, sir. Not while I’m speaking.”
Shortly after, Obama told the reporter, “the next time, I prefer you let me finish my statements before you ask that question.”
The rest of the press corps waited, as Obama asked. When he was done, the reporters shouted their questions. Obama turned his back, and walked inside the White House.
That’s par for the course for Obama, who rarely takes questions from the press pool that follows him almost futilely to his staged events.
Even when he intends to take questions, he does so sparingly. At his last “press conference” at the White House, Obama called on just three reporters.
A Towson professor studied Obama’s aversion to his press corps in February and found that he had held only 17 solo press conferences by then, fewer at that point than Bill Clinton (31), George H.W. Bush (56) and Ronald Reagan (21), though more than George W. Bush (11).
And at impromptu encounters with the press pool, Obama took questions just 94 times — a puny number compared with Bush Jr. (307), Clinton (493), Bush Sr. (263) and Reagan (120).