President Joe Biden wouldn’t outright say Wednesday whether he believes the upcoming election results will be legitimate if his election bills don’t pass.
Biden is pushing for passage of the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would nationalize federal election laws. Republicans have blocked efforts to nationalize federal election laws, often arguing it subverts the Constitution. (RELATED: McConnell Blasts ‘The Left’s Big Lie’ As Schumer Prepares Another Voting Bill Push)
The president, speaking to reporters at a formal press conference at the White House, was asked about the passage of his election bills and whether he believes the upcoming election would be fair without them. Biden appeared to dodge directly answering, telling the nation it “depends.”
“It all depends on whether or not we’re able to make the case to the American people that some of this is being set up to try and alter the outcome of the election,” Biden said. “And it’s one thing – look, maybe I’m just being too much of an optimist. Remember how we thought not that many people were going to 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.”
Biden argued that he believes that “no matter how hard they [Republicans] make it for minorities to vote,” people will still “stand in line and defy the attempt to keep them from” voting. He said the efforts to ensure a free and fair election will be “difficult” but maintained that there’s still time to pass his bills.
Recently, Biden began calling for an end to the filibuster in a renewed effort to get the election bills passed. Biden previously slammed a Georgia election bill that was signed into law in 2021, calling it “Jim Crow in the 21st century.”
Georgia’s law makes voter ID a requirement and expands early voting in many Georgia counties, among other changes.
Biden later on reiterated his concerns about the 2022 midterm elections, telling reporters that they “could easily be illegitimate.”
“Oh yeah, I think it could easily be illegitimate. Imagine, imagine if in fact, Trump is succeeded in convincing … to not count the votes,” Biden said. “Imagine if those attempts to say that the count was not legit, you have to recount it and were … going to discard the following votes. Im not saying it’s gonna be legit. The increase in the prospect of being illegitimate is a direct proportion to us not been able to get these reforms passed.”
His comments echo that of other Democrats who have accused Republicans of blocking future fair elections. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, for example, recently accused Republicans of wanting to “rig the game and rig the count” by preventing Biden’s bills.