In his first major press conference after taking office 64 days ago, President Joe Biden says it’s his expectation to run for re-election in 2024. When asked by a reporter why he hasn’t already announced like former President Trump did at this same time in his presidency, Biden laughed and then joked that he misses Trump. He then said that yes, he expects to run again with Vice President Harris.
The main topic of the press conference was immigration and the crisis at the border. President Biden says the vast majority of unaccompanied children crossing the border come with a phone number of a relative. Biden says there is a system in place today helping kids make these calls. Biden blamed the previous administration for the current overcrowding problems, claiming former President Trump dismantled all of the elements in place that were being used to address previous illegal immigration. Biden added that aside from unaccompanied children, the overwhelming majority of those crossing the border are being sent back.
Biden told White House reporters that the U.S. relationship with China is complicated. He described Chinese President Xi as a “smart, smart guy” who favors autocracy, not democracy. Biden said he told Xi that China must engage in fair competition in the global economy. He insisted the U.S. will hold China accountable for misdeeds and criticized China’s human rights record. Biden also said China is making major investments in the future and argued Beijing is “out-investing” the U.S. by a lot.
Also, President Biden accused North Korea of violating UN rules by re-starting missile tests. During the White House briefing, Biden said he favors a diplomatic solution as long as it leads to denuclearization. He also vowed to respond to the latest North Korean missile tests, but did not elaborate. North Korea has been a vexing problem for numerous U.S. presidents.
In addition, Biden calls Republican efforts to restrict voting rights “sick.” Biden claimed most Republicans he knows also think these efforts are “despicable.” He said the Republican moves to address voting issues make “Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle.” He said things like closing polling places at 5 p.m. when most people are working is wrong.
President Biden also says he favors a return to so-called talking filibusters in the Senate. Biden told reporters that current Senate filibuster rules are being abused. The current filibuster is a parliamentary rule giving the minority party the power to block legislation. The old way involves one senator holding the floor indefinitely until his-or-her energy or voice runs out. Biden said he’s interested in getting things done and deferred to Senate leaders on the specifics of reforming the filibuster. Republicans are adamantly opposed to changing or killing the filibuster.
Biden’s first press conference as President lasted over an hour as many reporters asked multiple questions. However, not every reporter was called on, especially FOX News reporter Peter Doocy.