'Good day for democracy': Joe Biden hails midterm polls as Democrats defy Republicans' expectations
Biden on US midterm elections: In his first press conference after the midterm elections, US President Joe Biden on Wednesday hailed the polls and termed it a "good day for democracy."
He claimed that despite the prospect of a divided administration in the nation's capital, Democrats had "a strong night" and he had no plans to change his strategy. The US President made these remarks while speaking in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington on November 9.
"I am prepared to work with my Republican colleagues. The American people have made clear they expect Republicans to work with me as well," Biden stated, as per the Associated Press (AP).
In what might quickly turn into a trying period of his presidency, Biden dismissed concerns that Republicans, who are on track to assume control of the House, will investigate his administration and family.
Biden speaks to Rep. Kevin McCarthy
Earlier on November 9, the White House confirmed that President Biden held a telephonic conversation with Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who is slated to become House speaker if Republicans win the majority.
During his address, Biden appeared to be celebratory and defiant as Democrats denied Republicans the sweeping victory they expected. His party still has a potential path to hold control of the Senate, which would preserve his ability to nominate federal judges and administration officials.
“While the press and the pundits were predicting a giant red wave, it didn’t happen,” Biden said.
The election results were a remarkable display of resiliency in the face of both history and gloomy polls that suggested voters were fed up with inflation and crime and looking to punish the party in power. Biden acknowledged that many Americans remain discouraged by the country’s direction.
“The voters were also clear that they’re still frustrated,” he said. Even so, Biden expressed little interest in changing course on his agenda, saying: “I’m not going to change anything in any fundamental way.”
The benefit of his policies, such as funding for infrastructure projects and limits on prescription drug costs, “takes time to be recognized,” he said.
Biden said he planned to call Republican congressional leaders, and he opened the door to seeking compromise with them — without shifting on his top priorities.
He also questioned whether Americans want the major changes some Republicans are seeking, such as revisiting Social Security or Medicare benefits.
President Biden shows his intention to run for a second term
Biden was joined by first lady Jill Biden at his press conference, and he said it’s “ultimately a family decision” about whether to run for a second term.
His team has been making preparations for another campaign, and Biden said “my intention is that I run again.” He said he doesn’t “feel any hurry one way or another” about making an announcement, which could come early next year.
It’s unclear if the midterm results will be enough to enable Biden to move ahead strongly toward a second term.
What survey says about Biden's leadership?
An expansive survey by AP VoteCast revealed deep worries about his performance and ability to continue serving. With Biden approaching his 80th birthday, 58% of voters said he does not have the mental capability to serve effectively as president. Only 44% described him as honest, and just 34% said he’s a “strong leader.”
There were other warning signs for his political standing as well. When Biden was elected two years ago, 54% of voters described him as someone who “cares about people like you.” Among this year’s midterm voters, that slipped to 46%.
Overall, 57% of voters said they had an unfavourable view of Biden. His approval ratings on the economy, energy policy and border security were underwater.
Even his handling of Russia, widely seen as a success for Biden as he maintains an international coalition to oppose the invasion of Ukraine, is viewed negatively.
(With inputs from AP)
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