Fantasyland Press Conference
Please consider Remarks by President Biden in Press Conference on January 19.
Biden: For the first time in a long time, this country’s working people actually got a raise — actually got a raise. The people — the bottom 40 percent saw their income go up the most of all those that got a raise.
Mish: Actually, real (inflation adjusted) wages declined 1.9% for the year.
Reporter Q: Inflation is up. Your signature domestic legislation is stalled in Congress. In a few hours from now, the Senate — an effort in the Senate to deal with voting rights and voting — voting reform legislation is going to fail. COVID-19 is taking the lives of 1,500 Americans every day. And the nation’s divisions are just as raw as they were a year ago. Did you overpromise to the American public what you could achieve in your first year in office? And how do you plan to course-correct going forward?
Biden: Look, I didn’t overpromise, but I have probably outperformed what anybody thought would happen. ... Everything is changing. It’s getting better. Look, I didn’t overpromise, but I think if you take a look at what we’ve been able to do, you’d have to acknowledge we made enormous progress.
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. You mentioned your Republican colleagues. But right now, your top two legislative priorities — your social spending package and voting rights legislation — are stalled, blocked by your own party, after months of negotiation.
You are only guaranteed control of Washington for one more year before the midterms. Do you need to be more realistic and scale down these priorities in order to get something passed?
Biden: No, I don’t think so. When you say “more realistic,” I think it’s extremely realistic to say to people, because — let me back up. You all really know the politics in this country, and your networks and others. You’ve spent a lot of time, which I’m glad you do, polling this data, determining where the — what the American people’s attitudes are, et cetera. ....
And one of the things that I think is — we’re going to have to do is just make the case. I don’t think there’s anything unrealistic about what we’re asking. I’m not trying to — I’m not asking for castles in the sky; I’m asking for practical things the American people have been asking for for a long time — a long time. And I think we can get it done.
Q: You say, though, that you’re not going to scale down any of these priorities. But, so far, that strategy isn’t working. You haven’t been able to get some of these big legislative ticket items done.
Biden: Oh, I got two real big ones done. Better than any president has ever gotten in the first year. (Laughs.)
Q: But currently, Mr. President, your spending package, voting rights legislation, they’re not going anywhere.
Biden: That’s true.
Q: So, is there anything that you are confident you can get signed into law before the midterm elections?
Biden: Yes, I’m confident we can get pieces — big chunks of the Build Back Better law signed into law.
And I’m confident that we can take the case to the American people that the people they should be voting for — who are going to oversee whether your elections, in fact, are legit or not — should not be those who are being put up by the Republicans to det- — to determine that they’re going to be able to change the outcome of the election.
So whether or not we can actually get election — and by the way, I haven’t given up. We haven’t finished the vote yet on what’s going on — on the — on voting rights and the John Lewis bill and others.
Q: And just very quickly, you mentioned Republicans and reaching out to them. Some Republicans who may be open to major changes on voting rights — for instance, like Mitt Romney — he says he never even received a phone call from this White House. Why not?
Biden: Well, I like Mitt — look, Mitt Romney is a straight guy. He’s — and one of the things that we’re doing, I was trying to make sure we got everybody on the same page in my party on this score. And I didn’t call many Republicans at all.
Mish Comment: "And I didn’t call many Republicans at all."
This is bipartisanship? Heck, Biden could not even get 50 Democrats on board for Build Back Better, changing filibuster rules, or changing voting legislation.
Q: This afternoon, the Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, said that the midterms elections are going to be a report card on your progress on inflation, border security, and standing up to Russia. Do you think that that’s a fair way to look at it? And if so, how do you think that report card looks right now?
Biden: I think the report card is going to look pretty good, if that’s where we’re at.
Q: Why are you trying so hard in your first year to pull the country so far to the left?
Biden: Well, I’m not. I don’t know what you consider to be too far to the left if, in fact, we’re talking about making sure that we had the money for COVID, making sure we had the money to put together the Bipartisan Infrastructure, and making sure we were able to provide for those things that, in fact, would significantly reduce the burden on the working-class people but make them — they have to continue to work hard. I don’t know how that is pointed to the left.
If you may recall, I — you guys have been trying to convince me that I am Bernie Sanders. I’m not. I like him, but I’m not Bernie Sanders. I’m not a socialist. I’m a mainstream Democrat, and I have been. And mainstream Democrats have overwhelmingly — if you notice, the 48 of the 50 Republi- — Democrats supported me in the Senate on virtually everything I’ve asked.
Q: Sir, what does the new normal look like?
Biden: Okay. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Hang on, guys. We’ve only gone an hour and 20 minutes. I’ll keep going. But I’m — but I’m going to go — let me get — let get something straight here: How long are you guys ready to go? You want to go for another hour or two?
Q: One more follow-up. Last — around this time last year when you were campaigning in Georgia, I think one of the things you told people was, “The power is literally in your hands.” You know, if voters give Democrats the House and the Senate and the presidency that all these big things can get accomplished. And, you know, we’ve seen stalemate. We’ve seen things being stymied. Why should folks believe you this time around?
Biden: Can you think of any other President that has done as much in one year? Name one for me.
Q: How do you plan to win back moderates and independents who cast a ballot for you in 2020 but, polls indicate, aren’t happy with the way you’re doing your job now?
Biden: I don’t believe the polls.
Q: You said you were surprised by Republican obstruction of your agenda. But didn’t the GOP take exactly the same tactic when you were Vice President to Barack Obama? So why did you think they would treat you any differently than they treated him?
Biden: Well, first of all, they weren’t nearly as obstructionist as they are now, number one. ... The American public is outraged about the tax structure we have in America. What are they proposing to do about it? Anything? Have you heard anything? I mean, anything. I haven’t heard anything. .... [Very long winding answer - Mish]
Biden Conclusion: Folks, it is now almost 6:00. With all due respect, I’m going to see you at the next conference. Okay? Thank you.
Mish Comments - Stay the Course
The press conference started at 4:02 P.M EST and ended at 5:53 P.M. EST, nearly 2 hours.
Biden took questions on Russia, China, elections and other topics.
The key take away is that Biden will not change course and that he believes the nation wants what he does.
Somehow 48 of 50 Democrats should be sufficient to pass what he wants.
Amusingly, Biden believes he has accomplished more in one year than any president in history and his report card is good.
An AP-NORC Poll shows Biden approval hits new low.
- More Americans disapprove than approve of how Biden is handling his job as president, 56% to 43%.
- Just 28% of Americans say they want Biden to run for reelection in 2024, including only 48% of Democrats.
- Just 45% say they approve of Biden’s handling of COVID-19, down from 57% in December and from 66% in July 2021.
- Americans are even more downbeat about his handling of the economy, with just 37% approving.
- Just 16% think Biden’s presidency has made the country more united; 43% think it’s more divided.
Biden Doesn't Believe the Polls
No politicians believe any polls that show voters are dissatisfied with them.
Trump and Republicans did not believe polls he would lose either. To be fair, the 2020 election was far closer than most thought.
"If it's bad, I say it's fake," Trump said last year. "If it's good, I say that's the most accurate poll ever."
Now Biden is in the same position, unapologetic to moderates and independents.
This is because Inflation Rose 7% and wages did not keep up.
Workers lost 2.1% on average in real (inflation adjusted) terms but the president bragged about wage gains of workers in his opening remarks.
He denies trying to pull the party to the Left. Yet, it is clear Elizabeth Warren and the Progressive wing of the party is calling all of the shots.
For discussion, please see Elizabeth Warren May as Well Be President, She Makes All Biden's Calls
If that's not radical Left, what is?
Thanks for Tuning In!
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