Trump advisor says there is ‘zero’ chance the former president will pick Pence as his running mate if he runs in 2024: report

Pence Trump
Then-Vice President Mike Pence and then-President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden on March 29, 2020.

  • Trump advisors told Politico that it’s highly unlikely Mike Pence will be Trump’s VP pick again.
  • One aide even went so far as to say that there’s “zero” chance Pence will be chosen.
  • Trump has not made an official 2024 announcement yet, but has said he’s seriously considering running.
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If former President Donald Trump wins the 2024 Republican nomination, it’s highly unlikely his running mate will be Mike Pence again, Politico reported on Friday.

Trump advisors told the outlet that Pence is not being floated as a potential VP pick because of his decision to preside over the 2020 electoral certification on January 6, instead of unlawfully overturning the results in Trump’s favor.

One Trump aide told Politico there is “zero” chance Pence would serve as Trump’s No. 2 again.

The Politico story confirms a Bloomberg report in March, in which Trump advisors urged the former president to drop Pence as a possible running mate and instead consider a Black or female vice presidential nominee.

Politico reported that Trump advisors are viewing other rumored candidates in the 2024 pool, such as South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem or former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, as potential running mates.

Trump has not made a formal announcement for a White House bid, but has repeatedly teased that he may run. Last month, he told Newsmax that he’d made a decision about 2024 that will come “in the not too distant future.” In April, he told Fox News that he’s “very seriously” considering another reelection campaign.

Trump and Pence’s relationship turned sour in the wake of the January 6 insurrection. Trump was infuriated that Pence did not obey his calls to reject the 2020 results, which the then-vice president had no legal authority to do, according to the US Constitution.

Trump refused to check in on Pence as rioters stormed the Capitol, many of whom chanted “Hang Mike Pence,” according to reports of the day. The two went several days without speaking to each other after the attack.

Pence has not expressed any regrets over his actions on January 6, saying in June that he was “proud” to fulfill his constitutional duty and certify the election. He’s also said that he and Trump may never “see eye to eye on that day.”

The former vice president has also been rumored as a 2024 presidential hopeful, making stops this year in New Hampshire and South Carolina, typically early primary states.

Trump advisors, however, told Politico that they don’t see Pence winning the nomination.

“The vice president is an incredible man and was a great vice president, but he has a huge obstacle – problem – in trying to be the nominee after dealing with what he’s dealt with over the last six months,” one advisor said.

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Ted Cruz mulls 2024 presidential bid, says his 2016 campaign ‘was the most fun I’ve ever had in my life’

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Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) heads to a vote on the Senate floor on June 8, 2021 in Washington, DC.

  • Sen. Ted Cruz said he’s “certainly looking” at a 2024 presidential bid.
  • “I’ll tell you, 2016 was the most fun I’ve ever had in my life,” he told Newsmax on Thursday.
  • Cruz lost the 2016 GOP presidential nomination to then-candidate Donald Trump.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said he’s thinking about a 2024 bid for the White House in an interview on Thursday evening.

“Well, sure, I’m certainly looking at it,” Cruz said during an appearance on Newsmax.

“I’ll tell you, 2016 was the most fun I’ve ever had in my life,” he continued, reflecting on his last presidential campaign.

The Texas senator was the first candidate to run for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, eventually facing a crowded field of 17 opponents, including real estate mogul and celebrity Donald Trump.

Cruz had held a strong position in the primary elections, yet Trump repeatedly garnered the most Republican support as the frontrunner. Cruz dropped out of the race in May after he lost the Indiana primary to Trump.

“We came incredibly close, had an incredible grassroots army,” Cruz told Newsmax.

At the time, Cruz refused to endorse Trump once he became the presumptive GOP nominee. The two bitterly feuded for months on the campaign trail, infamously attacking each other’s wives and lobbing insults at one another.

“It’s not easy to tick me off. I don’t get angry often, but if you mess with my wife, if you mess with my kids, that will do it every time,” Cruz told reporters after Trump tweeted a photo mocking Cruz’s wife. “Donald, you’re a sniveling coward and leave Heidi the hell alone.”

Over the past four years, the two have become allies. Cruz was one of the many GOP officials that perpetuated Trump’s lies that the 2020 race was rigged. The Republican lawmaker also led the challenge to the election results in the Senate.

Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle later blasted Cruz’s efforts to discredit the election results. GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming has said that the move should be a “disqualifying” factor in the 2024 race.

Should Cruz run in 2024, Trump could become his opponent yet again, as the former president has left open the possibility of launching his third presidential campaign.

Cruz told Newsmax that his focus right now is on the battle for the Senate in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections.

“Whether it is in the Senate, or whether it is in a presidential campaign, I’m committed to fighting to defend free enterprise, to defend freedom, and to defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights,” he said.

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Progressives call on Justice Stephen Breyer to retire amid McConnell’s threats to block future Supreme Court nominees

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell; Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer

  • Progressives are calling on Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire.
  • “For the good of the country, now is the time to step aside,” an ad that ran in Politico read.
  • The call comes after Sen. Mitch McConnell said he would block future nominees to the court.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Progressives have mounted a pressure campaign to get Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer off the bench while the Senate is still under Democratic control, which would clear the way for President Joe Biden to appoint his successor.

Eighteen legal academics endorsed an ad set to run in the New York Times on Friday, urging the 82-year-old Breyer to step down to avoid a possible scenario in which Republicans win the Senate in 2022 and block future judicial nominees put forth by Biden.

“It is time for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to announce his intent to retire,” reads the letter, signed by scholars at Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, the University of California-Berkeley School of Law, among others. “Breyer is a remarkable jurist, but with future control of a closely divided Senate uncertain, it is best for the country that President Biden have the opportunity to nominate a successor without delay.”

The news site Politico ran a full-page ad signed by more than a dozen major advocacy groups on Wednesday, which likewise called on Breyer to retire. Demand Justice, Women’s March, Black Lives Matter, Working Families Party and Sunrise Movement were among the 13 progressive organizations that signed on to the statement, first reported by The Huffington Post.

“If Breyer were replaced by an additional ultra-conservative justice, an even further-right Supreme Court would leave our democracy and the rights of marginalized communities at even greater risk,” the groups said in the ad.

“For the good of the country, now is the time to step aside,” the ad concludes.

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Full-page ad endorsed by 13 progressive groups urging Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to step down.

Renewed calls for Breyer’s retirement come in response to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell shutting down hopes for Biden to fill a potential Supreme Court vacancy if Republicans regain the Senate next year. In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Monday, the GOP leader said it is “highly unlikely” that he would allow Biden to confirm a justice should a court seat open up under his Senate majority leadership.

Alarmed by that possibility, progressives are demanding that Breyer, the oldest Supreme Court justice, leave the bench.

“Anyone who still doubted that Stephen Breyer not retiring could end in disaster should pay attention to Mitch McConnell’s recent comments,” Demand Justice Executive Director Brian Fallon said in a statement. “If Republicans regain control of the Senate before Breyer’s replacement is confirmed, the Court’s legitimacy and our democracy will be at even greater risk.”

McConnell’s blocking of Garland: ‘The single most consequential thing I’ve done’

After Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, McConnell famously blocked then-President Barack Obama’s pick to replace him, Merrick Garland.

The top Republican denied Garland a hearing or vote for his confirmation, leaving the seat empty until President Donald Trump won the 2016 election and took office. As Senate majority leader, McConnell advanced Trump’s nominee, Neil Gorsuch, to the Supreme Court in April 2017 – more than a year after the vacancy opened up.

The move sparked outrage among Democrats, yet McConnell has lauded the effort as “the single most consequential thing I’ve done in my time as majority leader of the Senate.”

Under Trump, McConnell ushered in two more Supreme Court justices, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, cementing a 6-3 conservative majority on the bench. The newly appointed justices replaced retired Justice Anthony Kennedy and the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, respectively.

GettyImages mitch mcconnell amy coney barrett
Seventh U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at the U.S. Capitol during a series of meetings with senators on Sept. 29 in preparation for her confirmation hearing.

McConnell is now signaling that if the GOP takes back the Senate next year and he once again becomes majority leader in 2023, he would rely on the same tactic to prevent a Biden nominee for the Supreme Court from moving forward.

“McConnell isn’t just saying the quiet part out loud – he’s shouting it in the face of Justice Breyer and Congressional Democrats and daring them to do something about it,” Aaron Belkin, director of Take Back the Court, another progressive group that endorsed the ad, said in a statement to Insider.

“At this point Democrats only have two choices: expand the Court or accept that Republicans will get to make the rules in perpetuity no matter how unpopular they are,” he added.

Breyer isn’t commenting publicly

Since Biden was sworn in and Democrats won the Senate in January, progressives have called for Breyer’s retirement to ensure that a new liberal justice will sit on the bench for decades to come.

Appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1994, Breyer has served for 27 years on the nation’s highest court. The current Supreme Court term ends in just a few weeks but Breyer has not yet publicly weighed in on his retirement.

Recently, he stressed the importance of having an independent judiciary, potentially suggesting that he won’t make a decision based on politics.

“My experience of more than 30 years as a judge … has shown me that once men and women take the judicial oath – they take that oath to heart,” Breyer said during a virtual lecture in April at Harvard Law School. “They are loyal to the rule of law, not to the political party that helped to secure their appointment.”

“It is wrong to think of the court as just another political institution and it is doubly wrong to think of its members as junior league politicians,” he continued.

Some left-leaning congressional Democrats have also expressed their support for Breyer’s retirement in recent days. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York on Sunday told CNN that she agreed with fellow New York Rep. Mondaire Jones, who said Breyer should leave at the end of the court’s term.

Jones, a Democratic freshman, became the first member of Congress earlier this year to publicly urge Breyer to retire. Following McConnell’s comments this week, Jones said that “it has never been more urgent” for the justice to step down.

“It is good to see even more progressive leaders step forward to say that Breyer needs to step down now to protect his legacy,” Fallon, the executive director of Demand Justice, said in a statement.

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki conducts the daily news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on June 03, 2021 in Washington, DC. Psaki faced questions about the ongoing negotiations between the Biden Administration and Congress over infrastructure and other topics.

Biden also faces pressure to fill a Supreme Court seat of his choice, previously promising on the campaign trail to put the first Black woman on the bench during his tenure. Yet White house press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in April that the president would not push Breyer to announce his retirement.

“He believes that’s a decision Justice Breyer will make when he decides it’s time to no longer serve on the Supreme Court,” she said.

Progressives argue that another conservative justice on the court would tilt its ideological balance even further to the right and bring decades of jurisprudence that may threaten their priorities, which include universal health care, voting rights, LGTBQ+ protections, and other issues.

“Leaving this Supreme Court seat up to Democrats’ chances in 2022 is dangerous and would threaten the lives of women, immigrants, a stable climate and the future of our generation,” Sunrise Movement said in a statement to Insider.

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Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie confirms he’s mulling a 2024 presidential bid and won’t ‘defer’ to Trump

christie
Chris Christie.

  • Chris Christie confirmed on the “Ruthless” podcast that he’s weighing a 2024 presidential run.
  • The former New Jersey governor said he doesn’t plan to “defer” to Trump when making a decision.
  • Axios first reported in late April that Christie was considering a 2024 bid.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie confirmed this week that he’s toying with the idea of running for president in the 2024 Republican primary, adding that his decision will not depend on former President Donald Trump’s next move.

“I’m also not going to be one of these people who’s going to say, ‘Well, I’ll wait to see what President Trump’s going to do.’ I’m not going to defer to anyone if I decide that’s what I want to do and that I think I’m the best option for the party and for the country,” Christie told the “Ruthless” podcast in an interview that aired on Monday. “I think if you say you’re deferring to someone, that’s a sign of both weakness and indecision, and we’ve already got that in the White House.”

Christie’s comments could be seen as a dig at Nikki Haley, a former South Carolina governor and US Ambassador to the UN, who said she won’t run for president if Trump does and will “have to talk to him about it.”

The former federal prosecutor said he plans to wait until after the 2022 midterms to make a final call.

“For me, what I want to do is to try to lead the party in a productive and smart way, for us to continue to argue for populist-type policies but not to be reckless with our policies, not to be reckless with our language,” Christie said on the podcast, noting that some of the “recklessness of the past four years” has cost the GOP suburban voters.

Axios first reported in late April that Christie was considering a 2024 bid for the Republican nomination.

Despite his admittedly complicated with Trump, Christie told Fox News in early May that he would give the Trump presidency as a whole an A grade.

“The fact of the matter is that there were some things that happened specifically at the end of the presidency that I think had some things that clouded his accomplishments, and that’s why we as a party need to emphasize the issues you just talked about,” Christie told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

Christie sat out the 2012 presidential primary and unsuccessfully ran in the crowded 2016 GOP primary field, losing to Trump, who edged out Christie as the tri-state area candidate with a tough-as-nails reputation.

Read more: Donald Trump donated his federal salary, but he’s taken $65,600 in pension payments since January 20

Sources close to Christie told Axios that the former governor believes he could carve out a unique lane as the sole candidate who has both held statewide executive office and previously run for president, an edge he thinks he could hold over rising star Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida.

DeSantis, who ran for governor in 2018 as an explicitly pro-Trump candidate, has attracted a flurry of positive news coverage for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and is generating buzz among GOP donors, who reportedly see him as a “nicer” version of Trump.

Trump told Fox News in April that he is “very seriously” considering another presidential bid in 2024. But, if he decides against that, other possible frontrunners besides DeSantis and Haley include former Vice President Mike Pence, Sens. Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Rick Scott, and Tom Cotton, Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Still, the makeup of the GOP base has seen a marked change since Christie was in office. There are now fewer white, college-educated, suburban voters who elected Christie to the governorship in New Jersey. In their place are more non-college-educated voters and, in 2020, more Latino voters. So Christie could struggle to gain traction in a primary field dominated by Trump loyalists.

During Trump’s presidency, Christie served as an on-air contributor at ABC News, and was most critical of Trumpworld towards the end of the Trump administration.

Christie tested positive for COVID-19 after assisting the Trump campaign with debate prep in fall 2020. His bout with the disease landed him in the hospital and led him to openly plead with Americans to take the pandemic seriously and wear masks, at odds with the Trump White House’s consistent downplaying of the pandemic.

The former governor also spoke out against the Trump campaign’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the courts, calling a last-ditch lawsuit in the Supreme Court seeking to overturn four states’ election results “an absurdity” and Trump’s legal team “a national embarrassment.”

This story has been updated.

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Trump says he would ‘certainly’ consider Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as his 2024 vice presidential pick

donald trump ron desantis
President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on November 26, 2019 in Sunrise, Florida.

  • Trump said he would “certainly” consider Gov. Ron DeSantis for his vice-presidential pick in 2024.
  • “He’s a great guy,” Trump told Fox Business about the Florida governor.
  • Trump said he is “100%” thinking about running for president again, adding: “The polls show that everybody wants me to do it.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday said that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may be a possible vice-presidential pick if he chooses to run in 2024.

“He’s a friend of mine. I endorsed Ron, and after I endorsed him, he took off like a rocketship,” Trump said during an interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. “He’s done a great job as governor.”

“A lot of people like that. You know, I’m just saying what I read and what you read. They love that ticket,” Trump continued. “But certainly, Ron would be considered. He’s a great guy.”

Trump’s comments come amid rumors that he plans to launch a presidential campaign for the third time. The former president has not made yet made a formal announcement, but on Thursday said he is “100%” thinking about a 2024 bid.

“The polls show that everybody wants me to do it,” Trump added.

Trump and DeSantis were close allies while he was in the White House and have remained in touch since the former president left office. In the past few months, DeSantis has made several visits to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in West Palm Beach, Florida, attending fundraisers and parties.

DeSantis himself has also been floated as a potential 2024 GOP presidential candidate, meaning he could end up being Trump’s competition. The Sunshine State governor has recently received hearty praise from Republicans for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Florida.

DeSantis’ office did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

Trump’s interview with Bartiromo, which followed President Joe Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress, also involved a conversation about the coronavirus pandemic, with Trump calling himself the “father” of COVID-19 vaccines.

“We did a great job on COVID and get no credit for it,” he said.

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Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is considering a run for president in 2024, report says

christie
Chris Christie.

  • Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is weighing a 2024 presidential bid, Axios reports.
  • Christie unsuccessfully ran for president in 2016, losing to former President Donald Trump.
  • In 2024, Christie could face a tough road to victory in a field filled with Trump loyalists.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is considering a run for president in the 2024 Republican primary, Axios reported on Wednesday.

Christie sat out the 2012 presidential primary and unsuccessfully ran in the crowded 2016 GOP primary field, losing to former President Donald Trump, who edged out Christie as the tri-state area candidate with a tough-as-nails reputation.

Read more: Donald Trump is ditching the spray tan, M&M’s, and even some extra pounds at home in Florida. Insiders say losing 20 pounds might convince him to run for president again.

Sources close to Christie told Axios that the former governor and federal prosecutor believes he could carve out a unique lane as the sole candidate who has both held statewide executive office and previously run for president, an edge he thinks he could hold over rising star Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida.

DeSantis, who ran for governor in 2018 as an explicitly pro-Trump candidate, has attracted a flurry of positive news coverage for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and is generating buzz among GOP donors, who reportedly see him as a “nicer” version of Trump.

Trump told Fox News on Monday that he is “very seriously” considering another presidential bid in 2024. But, if he decides against that, other possible frontrunners besides DeSantis include former Vice President Mike Pence, Sens. Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Rick Scott, and Tom Cotton, Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and former US Ambassador to the UN and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

Still, the makeup of the GOP base has seen a marked change since Christie was in office. There are now fewer white, college-educated, suburban voters who elected Christie to the governorship in New Jersey. In their place are more non-college educated voters and, in 2020, more Latino voters. So Christie could struggle to gain traction in a primary field dominated by Trump loyalists.

During Trump’s presidency, Christie served as an on-air contributor at ABC News, and was most critical of Trumpworld towards the end of the Trump administration.

Christie tested positive for COVID-19 after assisting the Trump campaign with debate prep in fall 2020. His bout with the disease landed him in the hospital and led him to openly plead with Americans to take the pandemic seriously and wear masks, at odds with the Trump White House’s consistent downplaying of the pandemic.

The former governor also spoke out against the Trump campaign’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the courts, calling a last-ditch lawsuit in the Supreme Court seeking to overturn four states’ election results “an absurdity” and Trump’s legal team “a national embarrassment.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

7 key takeaways from Biden’s first news conference as president

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President Joe Biden answers questions during the first news conference of his presidency in the East Room of the White House on March 25, 2021.

  • Biden gave his first solo news conference as president on Thursday.
  • He fielded questions on issues ranging from voting rights, foreign policy, immigration, and his plans for 2024.
  • Scroll down for 7 key takeaways from the presser.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Reporters on Thursday grilled President Joe Biden on a slew of issues when he gave his first solo news conference since taking office. He fielded questions on issues ranging from immigration, foreign policy, voting rights, the filibuster, and his plans for 2024.

He also gave updates on his administration’s COVID-19 response, vaccine distribution, and the economy.

Until Thursday, Biden had mainly interacted with the media by doing cable news interviews and briefly answering questions after public appearances.

Here are 7 key takeaways from Biden’s first news conference on Thursday.

Biden plans to run again in 2024

The president announced that he expects to run again in 2024 with Vice President Kamala Harris on the ticket.

“The answer is yes, my plan is to run for reelection. That’s my expectation,” Biden said, before adding that he cannot know for certain. “I’m a great respecter of fate.”

Biden also scoffed at the idea of facing Trump as his GOP challenger in 2024. “I have no idea if there will be a Republican Party,” he said.

Biden ups vaccine goal to 200 million vaccinations in first 100 days

At the top of the briefing, Biden set a new goal of the United States administering 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by his 100th day in office. Initially, the president planned to hit 100 million vaccine shots within that time frame, but the country surpassed that milestone last week.

The US has administered over 133 million vaccine doses as of Thursday, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Roughly 2.5 million doses are administered per day, The New York Times reported. At that pace, Biden is on track to fulfill his new objective by April 30, his 100th day in office.

More than 100 million stimulus checks have gone out and ‘millions more will be getting their money very soon’

Biden said that more than 100 million stimulus checks worth $1,400 have gone out so far. The checks were included in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, known as the American Rescue Plan, that he signed into law earlier this month.

“Millions more will be getting their money very soon,” he added.

Biden reacts to surge of migrants at the US-Mexico border

The president faced several questionsabout the recent surge of unaccompanied children at the southern border. He claimed that the increase is not because he may be considered more welcoming to immigrants than former President Donald Trump, but due to the weather.

Biden also blamed the hardline immigration policies imposed by Trump and the dire living conditions of the home countries that people are fleeing from.

“I like to think it’s because I’m a nice guy, but it’s not, it’s happened every year,” Biden said. “The reason they’re coming is it’s the time they can travel with the least likelihood of dying because of the heat in the desert.”

Biden skewers GOP-backed efforts to restrict voting registration as ‘sick’ and ‘un-American’

Biden called the dozens of Republican-led bills that would restrict voting currently circulating in state legislatures “despicable,” “sick” and “un-American.”

“This makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle,” Biden said. “This is gigantic, what they’re trying to do. It cannot be sustained.”

The president said his aim is for Congress to approve the For the People Act, a Democratic-sponsored bill dedicated to voting rights reform, which passed the House on March 3.

Biden agrees the filibuster is a ‘relic of the Jim Crow era’

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins pointed out that former President Barack Obama said last year that the filibuster is a “relic of the Jim Crow era” and asked Biden if he agreed with the assessment.

“Yes,” Biden said.

“Why not abolish it, if it’s a relic of the Jim Crow era?” Collins pressed.

Biden replied, “Successful electoral politics is the art of the possible. Let’s figure out how we can get this done and move in the direction of significantly changing the abuse of even the filibuster rule first. It’s been abused from the time it came into being by an extreme way in the last 20 years. Let’s deal with the abuse first.”

“You’re moving closer to eliminating the filibuster. Is that correct?” Collins asked.

“I answered your question,” the president said.

Biden said he ‘can’t picture’ US troops being in Afghanistan next year

Reporters pressed the president on whether the administration would meet the May 1 deadline Biden had set as a candidate to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan.

“We will leave,” Biden said. “The question is when we will leave.” Asked if he expected US troops to be in Afghanistan next year, he said, “I can’t picture that being the case.”

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