Sun. May 19th, 2024

Biden is skipping a Super Bowl interview. His advisers say it’s part of the plan.

By 37ci3 Feb5,2024

WASHINGTON — For the second year in a row, President Joe Biden is seizing the opportunity to sit down for a Super Bowl interview Sunday that could reach millions of Americans — part of a larger communications strategy his advisers say.

Biden’s aides believe that many voters – tired of the political season – just want to tune in. The appearance of the president while waiting for the start can turn them off.

But some in his party are worried about his decision to pass up an opportunity, so talk to millions of Americans.

“Either he doesn’t have anything to say or his team is worried about what he might say or how he might say it,” said a veteran Democratic campaign operative who said Biden should make a national appeal after the latest backlash. middle east. “Regardless, it’s a problem.”

The broadcast networks change who carries the Super Bowl each year, and for most of the past 15 years they have also booked a sit-down interview with the president to air before kickoff. CBS, which owns the rights this year, has offered the president a 15-minute interview to be broadcast online, a senior administration official said.

The network told the White House it would air three or four minutes of the interview during its Super Bowl broadcast, the official said. The White House has been reluctant to grant interviews at the start of what could be the longest general election in modern history, the official said.

“We hope the audience enjoys watching the game,” White House communications director Ben LaBolt told NBC News.

Biden’s decision not to do an interview drew a quick response from his expected November opponent, former President Donald Trump, who said he would instead sit for an interview and that Biden’s decision was evidence of his cognitive state, a frequent GOP line of attack. .

Biden’s aides say he has done network interviews in the past and will do so again when they think it best serves his messaging. They believe the president has had an aggressive travel schedule in recent weeks, with numerous meetings that have collectively reached millions of voters.

The Biden campaign hasn’t stayed away from the NFL this season, though. It ran ads in media markets during the first game last fall and on Thanksgiving Day in the key battlegrounds of Michigan and Wisconsin.

Last year, Biden’s team went back and forth with Fox News about a potential interview. Instead, eventually the White House agreed sit down with Fox Soul, the network’s little-known streaming channel.

In general, Biden participated in fewer interviews than his predecessors. According to data collected by Martha Kumar of the White House Transition Project, he has conducted 86 interviews since becoming president, compared to 300 for Trump and 422 for Barack Obama.

Trump has skipped a year of pre-Super Bowl interviews while in office. Obama followed the tradition by participating in interviews every year during his two terms.

Biden participated in a Super Bowl interview with CBS in 2021, a few weeks after his inauguration and when NBC aired the game in 2022.

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By 37ci3

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