Reporters at President Joe Biden’s Wednesday press conference parroted the White House’s own messaging on its election agenda, referring to the bills that are an effort to nationalize election laws as “voting rights” protections.
Biden’s election bills, the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, would nationalize federal election laws by allowing the Department of Justice (DOJ) to strike down state-level election procedures if it deems them to be discriminatory. Biden has touted that the DOJ could take such action even before state-level policies go into effect.
Critics argue the bills are a subversion of the Constitution, which requires the federal government to defer to a given state’s voting laws. (RELATED: McConnell Blasts ‘The Left’s Big Lie’ As Schumer Prepares Another Voting Bill Push)
Reporters from ABC News, CBS News, NBC News and News Nation adopted the Biden administration’s terminology when asking their questions.
“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,” one ABC News reporter asked. “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?”
The next reporter followed up on this line of questioning, also adopting the White House premise that the administration’s legislation is a protection of voting rights.
“Speaking of voting rights legislation, if this isn’t passed do you still believe the upcoming election will be fairly conducted and its results will be legitimate?” asked a News Nation reporter.
Biden went on to say that the legitimacy of the upcoming 2022 elections depends on the passage of his election reform agenda, all but saying that he would reject the results if his agenda isn’t passed.
Another pair of reporters pressed Biden on what his plans are to “protect voting rights” now that his agenda has failed in Congress.
“On voting rights sir, at your first press conference 10 months ago I asked if there was anything you could do beyond legislation to protect voting rights, and at that time you said ‘yes, but I’m not going to lay out a strategy before you and the world now,'” a CBS News reporter began. “Now that legislation appears to be hopelessly stalled, can you now lay out your strategy to protect voting rights?”
A reporter for NBC News asked a similar question, honing in on black voters who believe Biden’s elections agenda doesn’t go far enough.
“You’ve gotten a lot of questions about voting rights, but I want to ask you about black voters, one of your most loyal constituencies,” the reporter began. “I spoke to a number of black voters who fought to get you elected and now they feel as though you are not fighting hard enough for them or their priorities, and they told me they see this push on voting rights more as a last minute PR push than it is a legitimate effort to get legislation passed. So what do you say to these black voters…?”
The Biden administration’s claim to the “voting rights” moniker rests on Democrat opposition to Georgia’s recently-passed election law, which Biden says is a prime example of one that the DOJ would strike down. Visiting Georgia last week, Biden called the law “Jim Crow 2.0.” (RELATED: Georgia’s New Voting Law — Myths And Facts)
Republican critics have pointed out, however, that Biden’s home state of Delaware has more restrictive voting laws than those the new Georgia bill imposes.