President Joe Biden.
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President Joe Biden questioned the consistent GOP opposition to his agenda on Wednesday.
He wondered aloud how there isn’t even one Republican vote in play for his voting rights bill.
Biden turned to former President Donald Trump, asking why he retains such a grip on the GOP.
President Joe Biden extensively criticized Congressional Republicans on Wednesday for failing to entertain any bipartisan cooperation on his agenda.
The president’s comments came during a lengthy press conference, his first standalone one at the White House since March of last year.
While Biden insisted he never attacks any elected Republicans publicly and makes his disagreements known to them directly, he did single out former President Donald Trump and questioned how the candidate he defeated in November 2020 maintains such a grip on the GOP.
“Did you ever think that one man out of office could intimidate an entire party where they’re unwilling to take any vote contrary to what he thinks should be taken for fear of being defeated in a primary?” Biden said.
The president later added that five GOP senators have confided in him, all saying they would otherwise vote for some of his legislative priorities were they not afraid of a primary challenge from a more fervent Trump loyalist.
—Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) January 19, 2022
Biden would not identify any of them by name, telling a reporter that he keeps confidential conversations private.
Trump issued a statement during Biden’s press conference.
“How come Biden picks a reporter off a list, in all cases softball questions, and then reads the answer?” Trump said. “I would never have been allowed to get away with that, nor would I have to!”
Biden’s focus on the GOP’s across the board opposition to his agenda came in the context of heavy scrutiny on Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who have been notable holdouts in the 50-50 Senate on the president’s voting rights and Build Back Better bills.
“I did not anticipate there’d be such a stalwart effort to make sure that the most important thing was that President Biden didn’t get anything done,” he said.
“Think about this,” Biden added. “What are Republicans for? What are they for? Name me one thing they’re for.”
Politics, Biden, Trump
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