President Joe Biden was under fire for using “cheat sheets” during Thursday’s first formal news conference of his presidency.
His notes on key policy points and the identities of attending journalists were seen as “very sad,” per former President Donald Trump, but also reassuring by others.
Photos showed Biden holding an “infrastructure” card containing stats and talking points. Another showed Biden consulting a sheet appearing to show pictures and news outlets of journalists in attendance.
The gathering was limited to 25 reporters, but Fox News’ Peter Doocy was not among those selected to ask a question.
Speaking to Fox News host Laura Ingraham, Trump said: “Well, they were strange questions and they were asked in an interesting way. It was like softballs, like you’re throwing softballs up, and it’s just a different world. No one has seen anything like it.”
He later added: “It’s very sad to watch actually. They’re feeding him questions.”
Lili Balfour, an entrepreneur, said: “I’m glad Biden uses notes to make sure his information is accurate and his communication is clear.”
Biden answered questions related to the situation at the southern border, his view on the filibuster and many other topics.
“So Biden had notes and this is a story? Imagine if Trump had notes? Even thought about notes?” said Michelangelo Signorile, host of the Signorile Show on Siruis XM.
Biden also said he intends to run for reelection in 2024.
Critics of the administration have called on officials to make Biden available to the press on a regular basis. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds daily briefings.
The use of “cheat sheets” in these instances is not unprecedented. In November 2019, Trump had handwritten prompts at a news conference during his first impeachment hearing.