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Biden says the midterms were a “good day for democracy” and notes that a “red wave” hasn’t happened

Biden says the midterms were a “good day for democracy” and notes that a “red wave” hasn’t happened

Biden says the midterms were a “good day for democracy” and notes that a “red wave” hasn’t happened



CNN

In his first speech since polls closed across the country on Tuesday night, President Joe Biden called out detractors who he said doubted his “incessant optimism” about the Democratic the ability to deter vocal Republicans wins mid-term elections – although his presidency is now likely to enter a new period of divided government.

The results, he said at a White House press conference on Wednesday, are a sign that American democracy is intact, despite being under threat in recent years.

“Yesterday we had an election,” Biden said. “And I think it was a good day for democracy.”

“Our democracy has been tested in recent years, but the American people have spoken with their voices and proved once again that democracy is what we are,” he continued, adding that “while the press and pundits are predicting a huge red wave, it hasn’t happened.”

The results were neither the “beating” George W. Bush described during his post-term news conference in 2006, nor the “shelling” Barack Obama said Democrats endured in 2010.

Instead, with the failure of the so-called “red wave” to materialize Tuesday night, Biden appeared confident, reflecting the mood Democrats, including those inside the White House, who are feeling elated and vindicated after an election season in which the president’s political prowess was called into question. At the time of Biden’s remarks, CNN was unable to predict future House or Senate majorities.

The president admitted that the results did not confirm his approach. It is also clear to the voters, he said, that they are still frustrated. Contam. I understand that these have been a difficult few years in this country for so many people.”

“Although every seat lost is painful…Democrats had a strong night. And we lost fewer seats in the House of Representatives than in the first Democratic presidential election in 40 years. “We had the best halftime for governors since 1986,” Biden said.

The president, who turns 80 later this month, also said he was “in no rush” to announce a re-election bid in 2024, reiterating that his timeline remained “early next year.”

“Our intention is to run again. That was our intention, regardless of the outcome of these elections,” he told reporters. Still, Biden added, he has “a lot of respect for fate,” calling another run “a family decision.”

“I think everyone wants me to run, but we’ll have conversations about it,” he said.

And Biden had a message for those opposed to another presidential bid: “Watch me.”

The president said he will invite congressional leaders to the White House to discuss where they can work together when he returns from his upcoming trip abroad, adding that he is ready to work with elected Republicans on a number of issues. “The American people have made it clear, I think, that they expect Republicans to be willing to work with me,” he added.

Still, Biden has drawn a red line on a number of Republican proposals, saying he will veto legislation he thinks could worsen inflation, cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and any attempt to introduce a national abortion ban.

Biden said he plans to speak with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — who is running for speaker of the House — later Wednesday.

The results appear more likely to prompt reconsideration among Republicans than Democrats, as former President Donald Trump teases a recent announcement that he is running for the White House again. Many of the candidates Trump has endorsed are in toss-up races lost or locked out of competitions which was too early to call.

For his part, Biden said Wednesday that he has no plans to do anything differently in the second half of his presidency. Instead, he said as his agenda items begin to take effect, Americans will come to see their benefits.

“They’re just finding out what we’re doing,” the president said. “The more they know about what we’re doing, the more support there is.”

Still, Biden and his team still face the prospect of a tough two-year reign if Republicans take control of the House. The president’s agenda would likely be sharply narrowed without a Democratic majority. And Republicans have promised investigations into the Biden administration and family.

Biden said he believes the American public wants the government to “go ahead and do things for them,” rather than investigate him, his family or the administration.

“It’s just, almost a comedy,” Biden said of the possible investigations. “I can’t control what they’re going to do. All I can do is keep trying to make life better for the American people.”

Exit polls also showed that dissatisfaction with the country’s economic health is still simmering among voters. About three-quarters of voters nationally said the economy was “bad” or “not good,” and the same share said inflation had caused them severe or moderate hardship. About two-thirds said gas prices are causing them difficulty.

Voters have a poor view of how things are going in the country in general, with more than 7 in 10 saying they are “dissatisfied” or “angry”.

Improving the nation’s pervasively dark mood will be an ongoing challenge for the president despite Democrats beating expectations on Tuesday. Without a majority in the House, his tools to achieve this will be more limited.

Biden has spent most of his campaign season focused on economic issues, including areas where he has taken cost-cutting measures. But he drew some criticism, including from some Democrats, because he expanded his closing message to include abortion rights and the defense of democracy.

On Tuesday, Biden advisers were ready to defend the tactic and were prepared with historical data showing that Democrats are doing better this year than in previous midterm cycles, which usually result in losses for the incumbent’s party.

In the end, however, Biden is likely to avoid finger-pointing and scrutiny. Even with the losses in the House of Representatives, this year’s results are among the best for the party in power in recent memory.

By comparison, Democrats lost 54 seats in 1994, when President Bill Clinton was in office. And in Obama’s first midterm elections, his party lost 63 seats.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Biden addressed the challenges with the nation’s two biggest foreign adversaries — China and Russia.

Biden said the timing of Russia’s announcement that it was pulling out of the city of Kherson in Ukraine was “interesting.”

“I think it’s interesting that they waited until after the election to make that ruling, which we knew for a while that they were going to do, and that’s evidence of the fact that they have some real problems – the Russian military,” Biden said. He added that it remains to be seen where the withdrawal leads and “whether Ukraine is ready to compromise with Russia or not.”

Biden also said he had been told that Russian President Vladimir Putin was unlikely to attend the upcoming G20 summit in Indonesia. He also told reporters that he hoped Putin would be more willing to discuss the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner, who remains in custody in Russia, now that the election is over.

Biden confirmed expected talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit next week. Biden said he did not plan to make “fundamental concessions” and would discuss the economy and trade. But he declined to reveal what his message would be about US military support for Taiwan if China moves to the self-governing island.

“I’m going to have that conversation with him,” Biden added, noting that they will lay out “what each of our red lines are.”

The president also told reporters that Twitter owner Elon Musk’s relationship with other countries was “worth considering,” but declined to say how that might be done.

“I think Elon Musk’s cooperation and/or technical relationships with other countries are worth considering, whether or not he’s doing something inappropriate,” Biden said, when asked if Musk was a threat to national security. “But that’s all (I’ll) say.”



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