Flashback: The last time Biden had a solo ‘big boy press conference’ was eight months ago

President Biden is gearing up for a crucial press conference Thursday evening, the first solo press event since the APEC Summit in California eight months ago.

On Nov. 15, Biden met with China’s President Xi Jinping and reportedly left the meeting optimistic that he had reduced tensions between U.S. and Chinese forces in the Asia-Pacific, a feat he was aiming to button up prior to announcing his re-election bid. The president’s press conference for the summit lasted about 20 minutes, and he answered roughly five questions before leaving.

However, throughout Biden’s 41 months as president, he has gone a total of 30 months without a solo news conference, 16 months without a TV news interview, and 10 months without either, according to a Fox News count.

And several of those press conferences have reportedly been scripted, with the president receiving the questions ahead of time. Biden has also had other interviews guided by questions that were allegedly pre-selected by media executives, which left no room for prominent journalists to ask him off-the-cuff questions or even follow-ups to the ‘scripted’ questions. 

‘To the word. Every single question was scripted, gone over dozens of times by many editors and executives. Absolutely. I was on script and was told not to deviate,’ former ESPN host Sage Steele previously told Fox News Digital about an interview she had with Biden in 2021.

What the media are calling Biden’s ‘big boy press conference’ Thursday evening is setting up high expectations for his Democratic base. It comes as at least nine elected Democrat lawmakers have called on Biden to drop out of the race and 23 Democrats, including former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have hinted that his doing so could be in the best interests of defeating Donald Trump in November.

Thursday’s press conference is Biden’s first interaction with reporters since debating Trump in June and his subsequent sit-down with ABC host George Stephanopoulos, amid rising concerns about his health and mental acuity. Biden, 81, has not agreed to do an official independent cognitive test, instead saying that he takes one ‘every day’ while fulfilling his presidential duties. 

Biden’s interview with Stephanopoulos was also highly anticipated, as the campaign has been filling the president’s schedule to the brim with appearances and rallies in an attempt to showcase he is still fit to continue for another four years. The campaign has also tapped surrogates such as liberal California Gov. Gavin Newsom to headline Biden-Harris campaign events to encourage more support amid a firestorm of unfavorable media coverage of the president’s performance.

Biden has also repeatedly dismissed calls for him to drop out of the race to allow another Democratic candidate to take on former President Trump in November.

‘There’s been a lot of speculation: What’s Joe going to do? Is he going to stay in the race? Is he going to drop out? What’s he going to do?’ Biden said Friday in a speech in Madison, Wisconsin. ‘Well, here’s my answer: I am running and going to win again.’

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Monday that they ‘can expect a solo press conference from this president at the end of … the NATO summit. He’s looking forward to it. And he will be taking your questions. So, that’ll be a good thing.’

Fox News Digital’s Emma Colton and Gabriel Hays contributed to this report. 

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