Compared to her rivals, former Secretary of Hillary Clinton has barely talked to the media since launching her presidential campaign on April 12.
And the media has responded by heavily criticising Clinton’s campaign for ducking the issues of the day.
On Monday, The New York Times announced Clinton’s upcoming tour of swing states with the backhanded headline: “Hillary Clinton’s Busy Week Presents More Opportunities for No Questions.”
The Times story noted that there are still a number of controversial topics that Clinton has yet to personally address, including new questions about her family’s foundation and last Friday’s disclosure from her campaign indicating she and her husband made more than $US25 million in paid speeches alone since 2014.
Also last week, The Washington Post unveiled a new clock to track the minutes — roughly 40,000, as of Monday — since Clinton last answered a question from a reporter. That question came on April 21.
Meanwhile, a wide range of outlets have gone out of their way to document every question Clinton has answered from the press since announcing her campaign. That total reportedly stands at 13 questions, depending on who’s counting. The Daily News, National Journal, and Politico reported that she has answered only eight inquiries from reporters.
One of President Barack Obama’s closest former campaign advisers, media consultant David Axelrod, said it would be a “terrible mistake” for Clinton not to reverse course and open up to the media.
Axelrod, whose team beat Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primary, argued that Clinton doesn’t want “a major news event” every time she answers a routine question.
“But look, I think she has to get out there, Axelrod said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” according to a transcript. “She has to answer questions, and she has to do it routinely, so it’s not a major news event when she takes a few questions from the news media,””It would be a terrible mistake to not do that.”
For her part, Clinton’s campaign and supporters have dismissed the criticism as media navel-gazing.
A campaign spokesman declined to comment to Business Insider for this story, but another spokesman, Jesse Ferguson, reacted last week on Twitter by pointing to Clinton taking questions at length during town hall events:
Philosophical Q: If a candidate answers hours of questions from real people on camera but they didn’t come from press, did they happen?
— Jesse Ferguson (@JesseFFerguson) May 6, 2015
Perhaps seeking to counter potential criticism on the issue, the pro-Clinton super PAC American Bridge on Monday released a lengthy list of questions Clinton has both asked and taken from “everyday Americans while on the campaign trail.”
“While other candidates are using the media to further their own agendas and attack each other, Hillary Clinton is displaying the qualities of a true leader by meeting with the people she hopes to champion as the next President of the United States,” the PAC said in a statement to reporters.
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