Mook Defends Clinton Not Holding Press Conference in 260 Days: She’s Not ‘Shying Away From Tough Questions’

• August 21, 2016 11:57 am


Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook tried to defend her for not having held a press conference in 260 days but insisted that Clinton is not "shying away from tough questions."

Face the Nation host John Dickerson questioned Mook about the lack of availability to journalists.

"It's been 260 days since a press conference and somebody I was talking to [who] had been in a White House said if a candidate can't have press conferences and deal with the cut-and-thrusts of a press conference, that weakens them when they become president because they're going to need that as a way to communicate with the American people," Dickerson said. "So, why not have a press conference?"

"Well, the real question here is whether Secretary Clinton has been taking questions from reporters, which she absolutely has," Mook said. "We went and counted and she has been in more than 300 interviews with reporters this year alone. I know she's been on your show, and we're going to continue to do that and there are a lot of different formats in which she can engage with reporters, whether it's those one-on-one interviews, whether it's talking with her traveling press reporters, or a press conference, and we're going to look at all of those as we move forward.

"But I don't think it's fair to say that someone is shying away from tough questions when they have taken over 300 interviews from reporters. We tried to have the interns look at how many questions she took, which is a much bigger number as you would appreciate, and we haven't even finished tallying that."

Press conferences tend to have less predicability for candidates, making them more difficult to prepare for. In addition, some interviewers will provide a list of topics or even questions to the candidate beforehand.

Clinton has received criticism on this not only from Republicans, but also from journalists themselves.