Joe Biden's Press Conference Cheat Sheets Are Causing Such A Stir. Here's Why

President Joe Biden held the first press conference of his presidency on March 25, 2021, in which he fielded questions from reporters on a range of topics, including immigration, COVID vaccinations, foreign policy and his political future. Undoubtedly, immigration was one of the most hot-button topics. 

During the press conference, Biden defended his stance on immigration (namely, that he believes it is "essential to who we are as a nation, our core values, and our aspirations for our future," as he stated on his website). In his speech, Biden cited seasonal factors contributing to the potential increase in migration, as well as the poverty and violence that incentivizes migrants to come to the U.S. Allocating some blame for the border crisis at his predecessor's feet, Biden added, "We're building back up the capacity that should have been maintained and built upon that Trump dismantled."

While immigration remains one of the most pressing issues, it was far from the only controversial moment of the conference. The POTUS came under fire after viewers spotted his reliance on "cheat sheets" throughout the press conference. But why are they causing such a stir?

Joe Biden is trolled over his 'cheat sheets'

Twitter went into overdrive after users saw President Joe Biden holding a piece of paper that included circled images of some reporters. The consensus? Some people believe that Biden was only taking questions from pre-approved journalists, namely, those who were circled on his cheat sheets. The move sparked a flood of backlash on social media, particularly among members of the GOP. "Joe Biden had a cheat sheet with the names and faces marked of which journalists to call on, and he knew EXACTLY what questions would be asked of him," conservative political commentator and polarizing figure Candace Owens tweeted. "That was not a press conference — that was a play put on by bad faith actors in a pseudo-democracy." 

Biden also leaned on his cue cards for help with key statistics and policy points. Newsweek points out that the president's papers included a bullet about infrastructure. However, Biden is far from the only leader to rely on notes when speaking to the press. According to Fox News, Donald Trump once "held a notebook with handwritten prompts" during his impeachment hearing in November 2019. Still, some are continuing to call out Biden for reading from the reminders, including Sean Parnell, a Republican candidate for Congress, who claimed the press conference wasn't "real." "So far @JoeBiden is just answering pre-screened questions from folks who are on his political team," he tweeted. "He's reading from notes."