Biden hails Democrats’ ‘strong night’ but acknowledges concerns

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Biden Hails Democrats’ ‘Strong Night’ But Acknowledges Concerns Biden Hails Democrats’ ‘Strong Night’ But Acknowledges Concerns
President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, © AP/Press Association Images
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By Chris Megerian, Zeke Miller and Hannah Fingerhut, Associated Press

US President Joe Biden has claimed vindication the day after the midterm elections, saying Democrats had “a strong night” and he planned to change nothing about his approach despite facing the likelihood of divided government in the nation’s capital.

“I’m prepared to work with my Republican colleagues,” Mr Biden said during a post-election news conference.

“The American people have made clear they expect Republicans to work with me as well.”

He brushed off concerns that Republicans, who are on track to take control of the House of Representatives, will investigate his administration and family in what could swiftly become a bruising stretch of his presidency.


President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington (Susan Walsh/AP)

“I think the American people will look at all that for what it is, almost comedy,” the president said.

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In his first public comments since voting ended, Mr Biden was 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,” he 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.

Mr Biden acknowledged that many Americans remain discouraged by the country’s direction.

“The voters were also clear that they’re still frustrated,” he said.

“I get it.”


President Joe Biden gestures as he leaves the podium at the end of a news conference in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington (Susan Walsh/AP)

Even so, Mr 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 recognised”, he said.

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Mr 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.

Mr Biden was joined by first lady Jill Biden at his press conference, and he said it is “ultimately a family decision” about whether to run for a second term.

His team has been making preparations for another campaign, and Mr Biden said “my intention is that I run again”.

He said he does not “feel any hurry one way or another” about making an announcement, which could come early next year.

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