President Joe Biden praised Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as a “man of his word” Wednesday for helping him pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
“I’m especially happy to be with my friend and colleague of many years, and I might add, longest-serving leader at the United States Senate, Senator Mitch McConnell. Mitch, it’s great to be with you,” Biden said while delivering a speech on the economy in Covington, Kentucky, in a rare appearance with McConnell.
The two leaders appeared at the site of a bridge due to receive funding from the package, spanning between Kentucky and Ohio, after riding in the same car together to the speaking event.
“I asked permission if I can say something nice about him… I said, ‘I can be for him or against him whichever will help him the most,'” Biden continued. “Mitch… it wasn’t easy to get this done, and it wouldn’t have gotten done… without your hand, and I want to thank you for that.”
The president stressed the need to “find common ground,” particularly in the last four to five years, to pass through bipartisan legislation. He said he disagrees with McConnell “on a lot of things,” but what matters is that the Kentucky senator is a “man of his word.”
“When he gives you his word, you can take it to the bank. You can count on it, and he’s willing to find common ground to get things done for the country. So thank you Mitch, thank you,” he said.
Biden worked with McConnell in the Senate when he was a senator, and has repeatedly referred to him as his “friend.” Biden is expected to focus on bipartisanship in the second half of his term as he weighs a possible 2024 run.
The Kentucky event with bipartisan officials “sends an important message” to the country that officials can “work together,” Biden said.
Former President Donald Trump urged Republicans on Wednesday to “fight” against McConnell and his wife, Elaine Chao. (RELATED: McConnell Criticizes Trump Over Senate Losses, Says His ‘Political Clout Has Diminished’)
“The harm they have done to the Republican Party is incalculable,” Trump said on Truth Social.