Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy pressed White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki Friday on President Joe Biden comparing Republicans to segregationists.
The president suggested that senators in opposition of two Democrat-led elections bills, the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, are akin to George Wallace, Bull Connor and Jefferson Davis in a Tuesday speech. The bills intend to nationalize federal elections and allow for the Justice Department to challenge state election laws as discriminatory.
“But as you talked about a year ago, and working with Republicans, now he is talking about Republicans that don’t agree with voting rights—he’s describing them as George Wallace, Bull Connor and Jefferson Davis,” Doocy said. “What happened to the guy who, when he was elected, said ‘to make progress we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy?'”
“I think everybody listening to that speech, who’s speaking ‘on the level’ as my mother would say, would note that 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.
“One last thing, the Bengals are playing tomorrow, I’m just giving it a shoutout so that my husband will be excited at home. They haven’t won a playoff game in 31 years,” she concluded. (RELATED: Fox News’ Doocy Grills Jen Psaki On Joe Biden’s Past Support For The Filibuster)
Doocy also pressed Psaki on pieces of the administration’s legislative agenda that have failed to pass or have been overturned.
“Well, first Peter, I would say if you look back at last year and what we were able to accomplish that includes getting the American Rescue Plan passed,” Psaki answered. “A package that has contributed to cutting childhood poverty by 40%, has helped ensure we are moving at a faster pace toward economic growth, toward a record-low unemployment rate, helped ensure that schools, more than 95%, are open across the country.”
Psaki touted the passage of the $1.75 trillion infrastructure bill and the approximate 200 million vaccinated Americans across the U.S. She said Biden will “press forward” on his administration’s priorities.
The Supreme Court blocked Biden’s vaccine-or-testing rule for private businesses with 100+ employees, but reinstated it for healthcare workers in a 5-4 ruling Thursday. The president’s $2 trillion Build Back Better plan appears unlikely to pass with a lack of support from Republicans and Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin. The Democratic senator cited inflation and the national debt as the main reason for opposing the legislation.
Senate Democrats have pushed for making possible changes to the filibuster in order to pass their election bills. Manchin and Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema recently broke with their party in support of the filibuster.