President Joe Biden convened his first formal news conference Thursday in order to address the coronavirus pandemic, President Joe Biden has taken a turn for two months in the presidency.
He came together with a binder of talking points and an aim to keep a message, though he sometimes mingled and became defensive at times. In his view of the Senate filibuster, the president broke new ground and said that he anticipated a new run in 2024, was angry about restricting voting rights and was unwilling to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the impending deadline.
On a larger scale, he gave the American people their first detailed glimpse at how their president works, his knowledge of his own influence, and his vision for the future.
After three questions, Biden admitted that he was willing to suggest substantial changes to the Senate filibuster, including moving beyond reverting to the so-called “standing filibuster.”
After a lengthy response about his promises to the American people, he concluded, “We’re going to have to go beyond what I’m talking about.”
Biden claimed that he was open to making more substantive changes to Senate rules on topics he described as “important” to democracy, such as voting rights, which he seemed most enthusiastic about.
Later, when asked by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins on whether he agreed with former President Barack Obama that the filibuster is a relic of Jim Crow, he said yes.
Biden has previously attempted to strike a delicate balance when speaking on topics such as the filibuster, wary of alienating Republicans or appearing to break from tradition.
On Thursday, however, he appeared less concerned with those issues, announcing that he was working for the American people, not some hazy notion of bipartisanship. When asked about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who complained on Wednesday that he’d only spoken to Vice President Joe Biden once since taking office, he shrugged and said, “I would expect him to say exactly what he said.”
When asked about his reelection plans later, he acknowledged that he didn’t know whether the Republican Party would still survive in three and a half years.
Polling reveals that many Republicans favour his Covid-19 relief bill, which earned no Republican support in Congress. Biden accepted this, saying it was more important to him that Republicans around the country endorsed his platform than Republicans in Congress.