President Joe Biden is facing criticism for suggesting that the 2022 midterm elections may not be legitimate if Congress does not pass sweeping voting rights legislation.
During his tenth press conference in office, Biden was asked if he believes the 2022 midterm elections will be “fairly conducted” and have “legitimate” results if the Senate did not pass sweeping voting rights legislation.
“Well, it all depends on whether or not we’ll be able to make the case to the American people that some of this is being set up to try to alter the outcome of the election,” he responded.
He continued, “And it’s one thing… Maybe I’m just being too much of an optimist. Remember how we thought not that many people would show up to vote in the middle of a pandemic? We had the highest voter turnout in the history of the United States of America.”
He went on:
“I think if, in fact, no matter how hard they make it for minorities to vote, I think you’re going to see them willing to stand in line and defy the attempt to keep them from being able to vote. I think you’re going to see the people they’re trying to keep from being able to show up, showing up, and making the sacrifice that needs to be made in order to change the law back to what it should be. But it’s going to be difficult.”
Watch the video below:
REPORTER: Will the midterm elections be fair and legitimate if the voting bill isn't passed?
BIDEN: "It depends on whether or not we’ll be able to make the case to the American people that some of this is being set up to try to alter the outcome of the election.” pic.twitter.com/COCp5RSfXB
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 19, 2022
RealClearPolitics White House reporter Phil Wegmann asked the president to clarify if he was suggesting that the election could be illegitimate.
“Oh, yeah, I think it could easily be illegitimate. Imagine, imagine if, in fact, Trump had succeeded in convincing Mike Pence to not count the votes,” Biden began.
When Wegmann interjected to note that he was referring to the midterms, Biden said, “Oh, 2022. I mean imagine if those attempts to say that the count was not legit. You have to recount it, and we’re not going to count, we’re going to discard the following votes.”
“I mean, sure, but I’m not saying it is going to be legit. The increase and the prospect of being illegitimate is in direct proportion to us not being able to get these reforms passed,” he added.
This second attempt from Biden on whether the election will be legit is even worse.
"Oh, yeah, I think it could easily be illegitimate … The increase in the prospect of being illegitimate is in proportion to not being able to get these reforms passed." pic.twitter.com/nCyuAWSMXm
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) January 19, 2022
Biden received fierce backlash for suggesting that the election results may not be legitimate:
Furthermore, how do you say the next election might not be “legitimate” after spending an entire year tearing down anyone (not me) who said the last one might not be? 🙃 https://t.co/76Zs27HPYv
— Nancy Mace (@NancyMace) January 20, 2022
Joe Biden dangerously claiming results of 2022 elections will be illegitimate unless Congress passes his election power grab
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 19, 2022
"It's never good for [a] president to sow seeds of doubt in the legitimacy of American elections unless he has some sort of overwhelming reason … and I do not see that." @jaketapper says after President Biden said elections could be "illegitimate" without voting rights reform. pic.twitter.com/rLO4F1Z092
— New Day (@NewDay) January 20, 2022
Romney on Biden's 'illegitimate' election comment:
"It's the same path that Donald Trump went down, which is attempting to delegitimize an election, which in my opinion, is a unfortunate and potentially dangerous course to take for the leader of democracy."
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 20, 2022
Sasse compares Biden to Trump: “If you’re the President … you affirm public trust in our elections. Sadly, both the current president and the former president repeatedly, pathetically equivocate. These politically narcissistic, insecure men do real damage to public trust.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 20, 2022
I recall a lot of due outrage when Trump said the 2020 election would be legitimate only conditionally. Biden has just done the same thing.
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) January 19, 2022
Did Biden just said the next election will only be fair if his federal elections takeover is passed???
— Abigail Marone 🇺🇸 (@abigailmarone) January 19, 2022
I was against Trump preemptively claiming the election would be illegitimate if he lost and I'm against Biden saying that 2022 could be illegitimate if he doesn't get his elections bill passed.
Until we have evidence of illegitimate elections, those are dangerous accusations.
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) January 19, 2022
Two questions on Biden‘s belief that the 2022 election could be illegitimate if Congress doesn’t pass his federal elections takeover: 1. Does that mean the 2020 election was illegitimate? 2. Why is this any different than what Trump has said?
— Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) January 19, 2022
Biden also irresponsibly and repeatedly attacked faith in our elections. He and the Democrats are undermining our electoral system to ram through a federal takeover of our elections. 4/x
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 20, 2022
Hours later, Senate Democrats failed in their efforts to pass voting rights legislation.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tried to clean up Biden’s comments on Thursday morning, tweeting, “Lets [sic] be clear: [Biden] was not casting doubt on the legitimacy of the 2022 election. He was making the opposite point: In 2020, a record number of voters turned out in the face of a pandemic, and election officials made sure they could vote and have those votes counted.”
He was explaining that the results would be illegitimate if states do what the former president asked them to do after the 2020 election: toss out ballots and overturn results after the fact. The Big Lie is putting our democracy at risk. We’re fighting to protect it.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) January 20, 2022
“He was explaining that the results would be illegitimate if states do what the former president asked them to do after the 2020 election: toss out ballots and overturn results after the fact. The Big Lie is putting our democracy at risk. We’re fighting to protect it,” she added.
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