President Joe Biden held a press conference on the eve of his one-year anniversary of sitting behind the Resolute desk. And this time, he took questions from the media. However, coming in behind him with a broom and dustpan was White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who held her own meeting on January 20. Psaki’s event seemed more about explaining what the president had actually meant instead of what he had actually said.
Psaki must have known how eager the press was to dissect Biden’s confusing conference and so opened her briefing by immediately taking questions. A reporter mentioned that the president said the midterm elections could be illegitimate. He quoted Biden as saying: “I’m not saying it’s going to be legit. The increase in the prospect of being illegitimate is in direct proportion to us not being able to get these [voting] reforms passed.” The reporter then asked the press secretary: “Is he predetermining that the November elections are going to be suspected?”
Psaki hemmed and hawed and, of course, found a way to blame Donald Trump. After saying she spoke with Biden the night before on this very subject (for clarification?), she added that the president was “explaining that the results would be illegitimate if states do what the former president asked them to do in more than half a dozen states in 2020.” She accused Trump of pushing states to toss out ballots and overturn the 2020 election results “after the fact.”
So, the president is projecting the elections to be illegal before they even happen? The Dems have been pushing for new voting rights legislation and claim the 2020 elections were fair and legal. But now that there seems to be a shift, with Republicans such as new Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin being elected in Democrat strongholds, will they soon be suggesting problems exist with a system that got the president elected in the first place?
Breaking Down the Build Back Better Agenda
The president’s dreams of spending billions of dollars on infrastructure and every other tidbit tossed into the Build Back Better plan are spiraling down the toilet. To keep the movement alive, he has decided that it might be best to break up the bill into portions that are easier to chew.
Biden told the audience that he wasn’t “asking for castles in the sky” but admitted he might need to break up the legislation to get a large chunk approved. “I’m confident we can get pieces – big chunks of the Build Back Better law signed into law,” he explained. Psaki said, “it’s a choice between do we make critical progress for the economic wellbeing of middle-class families and in tackling climate crisis or not?”
Biden’s First Year of Foreign Policy
One reporter asked Psaki, “If you take all the foreign policy elements that happened, the pull out of Afghanistan, the Iran talks, Russia, the AUKUS deal, and the crisis with France, how would you assess that first year when it comes to foreign policy?”
According to the press secretary, the president has done very well considering Trump destroyed foreign policy for the nation. She explained:
“I would say what the president is most proud of is rebuilding our partnerships and alliances around the world. That had been frayed for some time, and he said this publicly. But when he has traveled around the world or engaged with foreign leaders, they are relieved that a respect for democracy, respect for alliances is back. They are worried about how long, and that is how frayed the last president left those relationships.”
She said there were no regrets when it came to pulling out of Afghanistan. Biden felt that “we were fighting too long and spending a billion dollars a week.” His main goal is apparently to continue building foreign relations.
Has the Left Gone too Progressive?
Psaki was told commenters had suggested the Democrat Party was losing its power because it had become too progressive. She, however, denied that assumption and said the president’s agenda is “broadly popular in the country among many progressives, but also among many moderates and, frankly, many Republicans who are maybe not sitting in this zip code but are members of the public at large.” She used the price of prescription drugs, affordable childcare, and eldercare as reasons why Biden appeals to all political parties.
Biden Doesn’t Believe in Polls – At Least Those About Him
During his press conference, Biden was asked how he felt about his falling poll numbers, indicating Americans are unhappy with his job performance. The president responded with, “I don’t believe in polls.”
He was then accused of making promises he couldn’t keep, which put him on defense. “Look, I didn’t overpromise,” Biden barked. “I have probably outperformed what anybody thought would happen. The fact of the matter is that we’re in a situation where we have made enormous progress.” He then tried to shift the blame on Republicans for his low poll numbers (which he doesn’t believe in, anyway):
“One thing I haven’t been able to do so far is get my Republican friends to get in the game of making things better in this country. I did not anticipate that there’d be such a stalwart effort to make sure that the most important thing was that President Biden didn’t get anything done.”
During Psaki’s performance, one reporter asked the ultimate question: “President Biden has repeatedly said the words of a president matter. So why isn’t he more careful with his remarks?”
It seems, however, that this president does not need to be quite so careful when he has a press secretary at hand to explain away his gaffes and an eager Fourth Estate ready to wage a war of spin on his behalf.
~ Read more from Kelli Ballard.