Washington, Nov 3 (EFE).- President Joe Biden on Wednesday urged Democratic lawmakers in Congress to unite to approve his economic plans, saying that this is something that voters want, after the upset defeat his party suffered in the Virginia gubernatorial race earlier this week.
In remarks to reporters at the White House, Biden reacted publicly for the first time to the fact that the Democratic candidate for Virginia governor, Terry McAuliffe, lost the Tuesday election to his Republican rival, Glenn Youngkin, a reversal for the president and his party.
He said that one of the “sacred” rights that Americans have is the right to vote, and he reminded people that everyone has the obligation to accept the legitimacy of elections.
Biden said that he knows that people want government to “do things” and so he’s exerting a lot of pressure to get the Democrats to move forward and pass his Build Back Better initiative on infrastructure and the social spending package.
Nevertheless, the president tried to split hairs when asked about whether he believes that, if Congress had approved those plans before the Tuesday election, the Democratic candidate would have won.
“I think we should have passed (the social spending package) before Election Day,” Biden said. “But I’m not sure that I would have been able to change” anyone’s mind in GOP-supporting areas in any case, adding that “people are upset and uncertain about a lot of things” including the Covid-19 pandemic, the uncertain employment market and gasoline prices.
But he said that if Democrats can pass his spending package and can show that they “can produce for the American people … you’re going to see a lot of those things ameliorated quickly and swiftly.”
Biden acknowledged that he had won the state of Virginia by 10 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election, but he noted that he was competing against Donald Trump at the time.
“People need a little breathing room, they are overwhelmed,” he added. “We just have to produce results for them to change their standard of living.”
Biden downplayed the criticism of those who say that both he and his party focused to much in the gubernatorial campaign on portraying the GOP candidate as a Trump ally and not enough on talking about solving the problems affecting people in the state.
He said that if he mentioned Trump during his rally in Virginia last week it was because the issues that the ex-president supports are affecting the daily lives of voters in that state and having a “negative impact.”
The president admitted that Democrats need to better “explain” their stance so that the Republicans do not win the battle on issues such as so-called “critical race theory,” an academic doctrine that holds that the past US history with slavery is the origin of systematic racism that still exists in US society.
Youngkin promised to root out that theory from teaching in Virginia schools, despite the fact that it is not taught in the state’s public schools – or in those of any other state.
Despite the impact of the disinformation on this and other issues perpetrated by the GOP, Biden said he was maintaining his optimistic outlook about Democratic prospects in the 2022 mid-term elections.