Biden to Sit Out Super Bowl Interview for Second Year in a Row

Biden to Sit Out Super Bowl Interview for Second Year in a Row

President Biden will miss the Super Bowl for the second year in a row.

CBS said on Saturday that the White House had rejected a request from Mr. Biden to participate in a television interview with its news division that would have aired in the highly rated hours before the big game on February 11.

In a tradition dating back to 2009, presidents have recorded an interview with the network broadcasting the Super Bowl, although there have been exceptions. Donald J. Trump did not appear on NBC in 2018. Last year, Mr. Biden turned down an appearance on Fox, where cable hosts like Sean Hannity have sharp hostility toward him.

But the White House has been receptive to CBS News in the past. The president was interviewed by “CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell before the 2021 Super Bowl and participated in two lengthy “60 Minutes” segments with correspondent Scott Pelley in 2022 and 2023.

“We hope viewers enjoy watching what they saw — the game,” Ben LaBolt, the White House communications director, said in a statement Saturday.

The Super Bowl, typically the most-watched television broadcast of the year, provides an unusually large audience for a sitting president to discuss current events and present his agenda to the public.

And there is plenty of news for Mr. Biden to comment on. As of Friday, the US carried out military strikes in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Last Sunday, three American soldiers were killed in Jordan. The government has just released a positive labor market report. And Mr. Biden is intensifying his re-election campaign while Mr. Trump has moved ever closer to the Republican nomination.

In 2021, Mr. Biden’s pregame interview with Ms. O’Donnell was seen live by about 10.2 million viewers; Millions more viewed clips aired on other CBS programs in the days surrounding the game.

For this year’s event, CBS offered the White House about 15 minutes for an interview with Mr. Biden, according to a person familiar with the discussions, with three to four minutes airing live during the network’s pregame coverage.

Mr. Biden has conducted fewer media interviews than his recent predecessors. The president’s last major network interview was with CBS’s Mr. Pelley in October. His State of the Union address is scheduled for March 7.

Katie Rogers contributed reporting from Washington.

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2024-02-03 23:14:59