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CNN, Fox News TORCH Jen Psaki on Biden Delegitimizing 2022 Midterms

cnn,-fox-news-torch-jen-psaki-on-biden-delegitimizing-2022-midterms

In addition to making headlines by giving Russia the green light for a “minor incursion” into Ukraine during a press conference on Wednesday, President Biden dropped jaws when he declared the 2022 midterms would be illegitimate if the Senate didn’t pass the federal takeover of elections. And it was a declaration that raised serious concerns on both sides of the aisle as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was relentlessly grilled by both CNN and Fox News Channel on Thursday.

That morning, Psaki took one for the team as she ran into the rhetorical buzz saw that was America’s Newsroom co-hosts Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino on FNC. “Last night, on the eve of his anniversary in office, those reforms failed. So, I’m curious if he will continue to say that those 2022 elections will be illegitimate,” Perino pointedly asked.

Psaki responded with her usual word salad stating that “the President [had spoken to her] a lot about this and he absolutely is not predicting that the 2022 elections would be illegitimate” and how “the point he was making the former president asked a number of states, seven or more, in fact, to overturn the outcome of the election.”

Hemmer counted by pointing to the fact Biden was very specific with his criticism and “brash” in his statements. He also noted that Biden’s home state of Delaware went most of his life without the voting laws he’s demanding now:

HEMMER: He mentioned the minority vote. He was pretty brash about it. And you’re right, we had the largest turnout we’ve seen on a percentage basis in 120 years. And states are changing their own laws as we speak. Joe Biden’s lived in Delaware for 70 years and they have early voting for the first time this coming November in ‘22.

PSAKI: And Bill, it should be a baseline. Everybody should have access to early voting.

Fast forward to the late afternoon and Psaki was getting pressured by CNN’s Jake Tapper on The Lead, and he would not let up.

“‘I’m not saying it’s going to be legit.’ I mean, he’s not saying that it’s going to be legitimate. That is pretty clear,” he said, quoting Biden directly. But according to Psaki, Biden was supposedly complimenting Americans on overcoming voter suppression efforts in 2020.

“He was directly tying the legitimacy of the November elections with the election reform bills that failed last night. He was asked a clear question and said it depends,” Tapper shot back.

After playing a soundbite of Biden fumbling his way through a question from News Nation’s Allison Harris from the press conference, Tapper had this scathing retort:

I mean, isn’t the correct answer, “if this isn’t passed do you believe the upcoming election will be fairly conducted and legitimate”; isn’t the correct answer, “yes, it will be fairly conducted and legitimate?”

Tapper did hit on the tired notion that the state-level election laws being enacted by Republicans were “born from the big lie,” but he did acknowledge “some of it is election officials saying we’re not in the middle of the pandemic like we were in November 2020.”

Building off of that, he posed the big question: “if we’re saying that there is no election that’s legitimate if there are efforts to suppress the vote, then when has there ever been a legitimate election in this country? Trying to suppress American votes has been going on since the founding of this country?”

Tapper was growing noticeably irritated as Psaki tried to dance around the question and not give a satisfactory answer. At one point, he slapped his hands together and elevated his voice as he spelled out what Biden should have done and how even Vice President Harris was suggesting 2022’s results wouldn’t be legitimate (click “expand”):

But he didn’t say the elections are going to be legitimate and I’m going to be there making sure they are legitimate and we’re going to fight and you need to turn out to vote! I mean, he basically refused to say that, definitively, that they’re going to be legitimate.

Vice President Harris today also with Savannah Guthrie also refused to say that the results will be legitimate. She pivoted to saying, quote, “we as America cannot afford to allow this blatant erosion of our democracy and in particular the right of all Americans who are eligible to vote to have access to the ballot unfettered.”

“So, I hear what you’re saying, but you do not seem to be on the same page as the President and Vice President,” he exclaimed before she answered and they moved on to Biden’s comments about Russia.

The transcripts are below, click “expand” to read:

Fox News Channel’s America’s Newsroom

January 20, 2022

9:41:18 a.m. Eastern

(…)

DANA PERINO: Last night, on the eve of his anniversary in office, those reforms failed. So, I’m curious if he will continue to say that those 2022 elections will be illegitimate?

JEN PSAKI: Well, first, I’ve talked to the President a lot about this and he absolutely is not predicting that the 2022 elections would be illegitimate.

The point he was raising was both that in 2020 even amongst challenging circumstances efforts to suppress the vote in the midst of a pandemic there was record turnout. Democrats and Republicans record turnout to go to the polls.

And the point he was making the former president asked a number of states, seven or more in fact, to overturn the outcome of the election.

Now, obviously, if there’s an effort to do that we have to fight against that. That’s what our commitment is to doing. But he was not making a prediction. He has confidence in the American people and we’re going to do everything we can to protect people’s rights.

BILL HEMMER: He mentioned the minority vote. He was pretty brash about it. And you’re right, we had the largest turnout we’ve seen on a percentage basis in 120 years. And states are changing their own laws as we speak. Joe Biden’s lived in Delaware for 70 years and they have early voting for the first time this coming November in ‘22.

PSAKI: And Bill, it should be a baseline. Everybody should have access to early voting. You know, if you’re a parent of two kids or three kids. I have two, some people have three, four, or more it is challenging. You should have more places you can drop off your ballot, you should have more places you should early vote. That should be a baseline everywhere across the country.

And as it relates to the minority vote, we know that voter suppression impacts minority communities the most.

(…)

CNN’s The Lead

January 20, 2022

4:05:21 p.m. Eastern

(…)

JAKE TAPPER: “I’m not saying it’s going to be legit.” I mean, he’s not saying that it’s going to be legitimate. That is pretty clear.

JEN PSAKI: Well, here’s what his intention was, Jake. And what his intention was not. He was not trying to predict the 2022 elections would not be legitimate. Quite the opposite. His view – and he told us this privately a lot – is that in 2020, the American people rose to the moment. We had COVID. People were trying to suppress the vote. They still turned out in record numbers.

(…)

4:06:11 p.m. Eastern

TAPPER: He was directly tying the legitimacy of the November elections with the election reform bills that failed last night. He was asked a clear question and said it depend. Take a listen.

[Cuts to video]

ALLISON HARRIS: If this isn’t passed, do you still believe the upcoming election will be fairly conducted and its results legitimate?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Well, it all depends on whether or not we’re able to make the case to the American people that some of this is being set up to try to alter the outcome of the election.

[Cuts back to live]

TAPPER: I mean, isn’t the correct answer, “if this isn’t passed do you believe the upcoming election will be fairly conducted and legitimate”; isn’t the correct answer, “yes, it will be fairly conducted and legitimate?”

PSAKI: That is his view, Jake. But we also have all lived through, you’ve done extensive reporting on, the attempts to change the outcome in 2020.

(…)

4:07:32 p.m. Eastern

TAPPER: So, I get that there are efforts on the state level because this is also what the President was trying to tie it to. Efforts on the state level to make it more difficult to vote. Some of that is no doubt born from the big lie, some of it is nefarious, some of it is election officials saying we’re not in the middle of the pandemic like we were in November 2020. We don’t need to do everything like we did.

But I guess my bigger question is, if we’re saying that there is no election that’s legitimate if there are efforts to suppress the vote, then when has there ever been a legitimate election in this country? Trying to suppress American votes has been going on since the founding of this country?

(…)                       

What do you think?

Written by Newsman

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