Last Wednesday, President Joe Biden referenced multiple times during his press conference that the 2022 midterm elections might not be legitimate if Congress did not pass legislation he supported that would amount to a federal takeover of elections. "I'm not going to say it's going to be legit," the president said when asked by a reporter about the 2022 midterm elections. "Oh, yeah, I think it easily could be — be illegitimate," Biden subsequently said later in the press conference. Now, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) is echoing those same claims.
The House majority leader was asked on Tuesday by POLITICO's Rachael Bade about Biden's remarks during the press conference. She directly asked Hoyer, "Do you agree with that assessment, that there could be problems next fall?"
Hoyer advocated for bills such as the Manchin Compromise in the Senate and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, specifically to do with pre-clearance. "So I think President Biden is correct," Hoyer clearly stated. "This is about our democracy. This is about an America that really believes in making sure that the people's voice is heard and reflected in the outcome of the election."
Heritage Action's Executive Director Jessica Anderson responded with a statement to Hoyer's claims.
"In the interest of upholding the integrity of our election processes, Democrats must disavow Biden's Big Lie. Instead, it appears, they are doubling down on Biden's attempt to cast doubt over the legitimacy of the 2022 midterm election," she said.
"Last week, President Biden shocked the nation, refusing to say if the 2022 midterm results will be legitimate without legislation that hands near-complete control of elections over to Washington bureaucrats. Now, top Democrats like Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn are feeding into Biden's Big Lie by saying he was correct to cast doubt over the legitimacy of our elections," Anderson pointed out.
Jim Clyburn is not only the third-ranking House member as the majority whip, but he's a close ally of Biden and helped create momentum for Biden in the 2020 Democratic primary. Clyburn, in no uncertain terms, told CNN's Kassie Hunt last Thursday that he was "absolutely concerned about that" when asked if he was "concerned, that without these voting rights bills, the election results won't be legitimate."
"President Joe Biden and the rest of the Democrat Party see the writing on the wall—they know voters will reject their agenda in November. This is a despicable, cynical ploy to keep the Left in power and ram through the Democrats' socialist agenda for America," Anderson concluded in her statement.
That same day, though, Hoyer's office told Fox News that Hoyer was not casting doubt on the results of upcoming elections.
As Andrew Mark Miller reported for Fox News:
In a statement to Fox News, Hoyer communications director Margaret Mulkerrin said that Hoyer does not believe the midterm elections will be illegitimate.
"Leader Hoyer shares President Biden’s concern that Republican attempts to methodically exclude millions of voters are deeply alarming, and raise serious questions that people who want to make their voice heard won’t be able to participate," Mulkerrin said.
"Leader Hoyer does not believe the 2022 election will be illegitimate, nor would he claim ballots ought to be thrown out if a Democrat loses – simply that millions of Americans have been systematically disenfranchised from our democracy by GOP election suppression legislation, and that we ought to take immediate steps to stop it by passing urgently needed measures to protect the right to vote."
Lindsey Curnutte, a spokesperson for Heritage Action, provided a statement to Townhall about such a response. "Majority Leader Hoyer's team can try to walk back his comments just like Press Secretary Psaki tried to do after President Biden's press conference, but Hoyer's comment spoke for itself, he agrees that the 2022 midterm election will be illegitimate if Congress doesn't pass his party's election takeover bills," she said.
This has become a pattern from top Democrats of walking back such comments following intense criticism. Vice President Kamala Harris and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki did not inspire much confidence when attempting to clarify Biden's remarks.
In a particularly memorable and largely derided media appearance on "The View," Psaki suggested that people should feel "pissed off" about such voting legislation not passing and that they should "go to a kickboxing class" and "have a margarita" over the weekend.
Democrats are largely expected to lose control of the House and potentially the Senate in the upcoming midterm elections. This is due to a matter of historical trends, but also because Biden's been consistently performing poorly in the polls, while Republicans are performing some of the best they ever have in the congressional ballots.