Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked Biden press secretary Jen Psaki to explain why the president has failed to keep a core campaign pledge during an exchange on Friday.
Doocy began with a reminder that during his 2020 campaign, President Biden ran on his experience in negotiating bipartisan agreements on legislation during his many decades in the U.S. Senate, as well as a pledge to reach across the aisle to bring both parties together, adding that thus far, Biden hasn’t managed to do achieve those promises.
“President Biden promised to bring decades of D.C. experience to the Oval Office, but Build Back Better has not passed, voting rights apparently not gonna pass, and vaccine requirements that he likes are, apparently, illegal. What happened?” Doocy asked.
“Well, first, Peter, I would say if you look back at last year and what we were able to accomplish — that included getting the American Rescue Plan passed, a package that has contributed to cutting childhood poverty by 40 percent, has helped ensure that we are moving at a faster pace toward economic growth, toward a record low unemployment rate, helped ensure schools more than 95% are open across the country,” Psaki responded.
“He also pressed despite skeptics to get a bipartisan infrastructure bill passed. One that we are just announcing today, the fact that 15,000 bridges are going to be repaired — that was despite many skeptics,” she continued.
“And because of his efforts, 200 million Americans are now vaccinated. The work of an administration continues after one year, and it will — he will continue to press forward on all of those priorities,” Psaki noted further.
Not satisfied with that answer, Doocy pressed further, saying that rather than work with Republicans to get key legislative priorities passed, Biden has instead taken a decidedly antagonistic approach and has lashed out at GOP lawmakers and other political critics who disagreed with Democratic federal election overhaul bills, comparing them to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, segregationist — and Democratic — Gov. George Wallace, and Bull Connor, who unleashed dogs on Civil Rights protesters, the Daily Wire noted.
“As you talk about a year ago and working with Republicans, now he’s talking about Republicans that don’t agree with voting rights — he’s describing them as George Wallace, Bull Connor, and Jefferson Davis. What happened to the guy who, when he was elected, said to make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy?” Doocy asked.
“I think everybody listening to that speech who’s speaking on the level, as my mother would say, would note that, ah, he was not comparing them as humans, he was comparing the choice to those figures in history and where they’re going to position themselves as they determine whether they’re going to support the fundamental right to vote or not,” Psaki responded.
Some Democrats also took issue with Biden’s speech, including Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois.
“It is stark. And I will concede that point. But don’t overlook the reality that in 20 different states governed and led by Republicans in legislature and in governorship, and each and every one of them, they are taking step by weary step to make sure that fewer Americans vote,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper this week. “Perhaps the president went a little too far in his rhetoric, some of us do.”