As you’ve probably ascertained by now, Joe Biden’s recent press conference did not go well. Although he was largely asked softball questions the president managed to have angry outbursts and tell lies despite this. Near-universal anger was triggered by his remarks delegitimizing 2022’s election. CNN even managed to offer some light criticism.
Jen Psaki would be pictured finishing her sixth straight cigarette around the end of the presser. It is a great way to think about how thankful she was that the train wreck finally came to an end. It was then time to clean up.
So, how do you spin the fact that Biden twice claimed the 2022 election wouldn’t be legitimate unless he got his garbage “voting rights” bill bassed? Psaki apparently decided on the “pee on their leg and tell them it’s raining” strategy. In hindsight, I suppose there weren’t any better options.
Here’s what that looked like on Fox News this morning.
.@DanaPerino: “I am curious if your continued assertions that the elections of 2022 will not be legitimate”
Psaki: “First I talked to the president a lot about this & he absolutely is not predicting that the 2022 elections would be illegitimate.” pic.twitter.com/8qsCkisPW1
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 20, 2022
That response can be criticized for being too simplistic. Two videos show Biden pointingly questioning 2022’s legitimacy. In one instance, the president asserts that “I’m not going to say it’s going to be legit,” followed by a claim that the passage of his federal elections takeover will be the deciding factor.
REPORTER: If the voter bill doesn’t pass, will the midterm elections still be free and fair?
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
Biden also went one step further, answering a question about whether or not the mid-term elections would be honest and legal. He noted that he and his party would try to convince people that things are being set up to “alter the outcome of the election.” It doesn’t get any clearer than that what he was saying and what his intentions were in making those statements.
Biden stated that the future elections could “easily be invalidated.”
I’m not saying that it is going to be legitimate. This is directly proportional to the fact that we have not been able to implement these reforms. pic.twitter.com/DF0iOXX2jl
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) January 19, 2022
Yet, Psaki wakes up the next morning and proclaims with a straight face that Biden wasn’t actually predicting the 2022 election will be illegitimate? He not only predicted that but also pointedly described the conditions in which that could become a reality for him, i.e. if his elections takeover isn’t passed. He made no misrepresentations. But this is the life of a press secretary for a decrepit, 80-year-old man who can’t keep his thoughts straight anymore.
Meanwhile, Never Trumpers are attempting to cope by saying “well, at least they walked it back.” You can almost feel the consternation in their pleas for the president to stop being what he is.
This is what it looks like @PressSecThe outrageous claims are being refuted. But it’s already been echoed by VP Harris & Whip Clyburn. Needs a full scale walk back from POTUS https://t.co/JYYK6h07B7
— Alyssa Farah Griffin (@Alyssafarah) January 20, 2022
The ticket was purchased and the passengers are now able to ride along. This is who Biden is, and it’s who he has always been. No amount of gaslighting about what he “really meant” is going to change that.
Besides, these clean-up attempts only further harden opposition to the administration’s positions and policies. People see what’s happening, and they heard what Biden said. Psaki can’t lie her way out of it, though she’ll certainly continue to try.