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How to Watch Biden's News Conference Addressing Debate Concerns and Quiet Doubts
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By Associated Press
Published 2 weeks ago on
July 11, 2024

President Joe Biden arrives for the NATO summit in Washington, Wednesday July 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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President Joe Biden will hold a news conference Thursday, the key event in a monumental week during which the Democratic incumbent is fending off calls for him to step aside as the party’s presumptive nominee following a shaky debate performance.

It’s just the type of event that many political watchers have said Biden needs to pull off successfully to turn back demands — including from within his own party — that he withdraw from his reelection battle against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Biden has argued that he had a singularly bad night in Atlanta and that it wasn’t representative of his mental acuity. A strong performance Thursday could convince members of his party that he still has the ability both to win in November and to serve a second term. A weak effort — or stumbles similar to his debate performances — could make the calls for him to withdraw grow much louder.

Here are the details on what White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has referenced as Biden’s “big boy” news conference:

When Is the News Conference?

Biden is scheduled to take questions from the White House press corps at 6:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m. PT) Thursday. It had initially been slated for 5:30 p.m. ET, but the White House moved the time to an hour later.

Where Is Biden Speaking?

Biden will be speaking from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, a short distance from the White House, where many events of the ongoing NATO summit are being held.

What Channel Is Carrying It?

The White House streams much of its live content. Given the attention on this event, television networks could also break away from programming to carry Biden’s remarks live once he starts speaking.

The Associated Press will offer a livestream at apnews.com.

Who Will Be Watching?

Probably a lot of people.

CNN reported that 51 million people watched the Atlanta debate, which was in primetime, while more than 8 million people tuned in to watch Biden’s ABC interview live. If networks break into their daily coverage or cable channels carry it live, that will guarantee a significant number of eyes on Biden.

Will Biden Know the Questions Ahead of Time?

Aside from some apparent exceptions — like incidents in which two Black radio hosts said Biden’s campaign sent them planned questions ahead of time — it’s not standard practice for the president to know precisely what will come up during interviews or news conferences.

His aides prepare him for a host of possibilities based off the headlines of the day, so they’re prepping him for the likelihood that journalists will want to ask about his fitness for office, the NATO summit or other topics.

How Many Questions Will He Take?

That’s not set in stone, and there’s not a ton of precedent.

Biden hasn’t held very many news conferences that aren’t tied to a foreign leader’s visit or trips abroad. Typically, those are what’s known in the business as a “2+2,” meaning two reporters from the U.S. and two foreign reporters ask questions.

What’s Up Next?

Biden returns to the campaign trail with a trip to Michigan Friday. He will also do an interview with NBC on Monday.

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