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The White House Wants You to Know That 'Democracy Is Still Under Threat'

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Following Tuesday night's election results and President Joe Biden's Wednesday press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre took to the podium on Thursday, where it's clear the spin is still going. 


While Jean-Pierre began her remarks by quoting Biden in saying "with their votes, the American people have spoken and proven once again that democracy is who we are," she went on later to take a question about those supposed "threats to democracy" that the president warned about as a way to scare voters into electing Democrats.

One of the first reporters repeated the concerns of Republican "election deniers" running for office and winning, to ask "how does the President assess the state of U.S. democracy and the health of that democracy?"

Even though Democrats did largely better than expected, Jean-Pierre answered the president "still sees that--he believes our democracy is still under--under threat and that the American people have to defend it." 

In case we had any hope that maybe he'll just take the win, Jean-Pierre made clear that's not going to happen. "That’s something that he’s going to continue to say.  And the--part of that is rejecting election lies or those who would use violence to overthrow democracy," the press secretary made clear, equating those who may question election results with those who actually violently attack others. 


Reporters, including this one and the one immediately following, were also interested in whether or not Biden really will compromise with Republicans. Jean-Pierre at the start of the press briefing also claimed that Biden supposedly "is prepared to work across the aisle to deliver for the American people," though she added clarification as she received more questions about it. 

As part of the walking back, Jean-Pierre emphasized that they're still waiting on the final results to come in and "don't want to get ahead of that." She also added it's "once we know what we're working with" when "we'll have those conversations and can talk more."

These questions and clarifications were especially pertinent given that the day before Biden made headlines for doubling down on his agenda. In addition to saying "I'm not going to change direction," he declared he intended to do "nothing" differently when asked.

Biden had also told reporters on Wednesday that he would be talking to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who has made official his run for speaker, though we're still waiting on confirmation that Republicans have indeed taken control of the House.

When asked for the details by the next reporter and "did he get a sense that there are areas where they will be able to compromise, going forward," Jean-Pierre refused to provide details. 

She just went on to promote Biden's supposed bipartisan attitude, claiming "this is a president who has--who has made that a priority, not just as president but as vice president and also as senator."


Jean-Pierre went on to discuss "delivering for the American people," touting bills on gun control, infrastructure, the CHIPS Act, and the PACT Act for veterans.

While she did say "there's ways that we can work together," she did once more caution "we'll see."

The specifics of Biden's Wednesday eyebrow-raising remarks came up even more prominently in the press briefing when Jean-Pierre had to clarify them with some particular spin. 

As a reporter reminded, Biden had also said "I’m not going to change anything in a fundamental way," as she pointed out the president's low approval ratings and voter sentiment that the country is headed in the direction, which is true not only of exit polls but polls in general.

In asking "how is the White House sort of squaring those two things," and "is there no change needed," that reporter may have been asking too much of this administration. 

Jean-Pierre claimed that "what the president was talking about then--he wasn’t going to renegotiate--renegotiate things that have already passed." She then went on to promote that misnamed "Inflation Reduction Act," which will do no such thing, especially in the immediate term, as some of its Democratic supporters have even acknowledged

Not only did the press secretary refuse to answer about polling on the president, and said nothing about those who recognize the country is headed in the very wrong direction, she steered the reporter in another direction completely. 


"Look, I know you’re talking about the president’s poll.  But the thing about it is: When you look at these pieces of legislation, when you look at the work that we have done, when you look at the issues that the president has worked on, they’re all popular," Jean-Pierre claimed. "When you think about abortion rights and you think about how--how--how that was a top priority for the--for the American people, that is something the president is working on." 

It was made clear throughout the press briefing that where Jean-Pierre sees the issue with how Republicans performed has to do with the "Inflation Reduction Act."

While answering a question from that reporter earlier in the press briefing, Jean-Pierre mentioned even more misleading points. 

This especially applied to Jean-Pierre's claims that "as we know, congressional Republicans made themselves very clear, leading up to Tuesday, that they were going to roll back Medicare, they were going to roll back Social Security--not even roll it back, just cut it all off--right?--chop it out." Such claims, made not just by Jean-Pierre, have been fact-checked as false and misleading by multiple fact-checking sites. 


If Americans did indeed feel compelled to vote as they did based on fact-checked remarks, they do so because they were lied to by the Biden administration and countless other Democrats. 

As disappointing as it was that a red wave failed to materialize, perhaps the resulting pomposity from this administration, and Democrats overall, is they'll be even more blindsided come 2024. If the Republican Party can learn what lessons need to be learned from this cycle and get it together before then, that is.

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