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President Joe Biden, who predicted throughout his campaign that he would be able to work with a post-Donald Trump Republican Party, admitted Wednesday that he was surprised by the former president’s ongoing influence.
Still, Biden reiterated his desire to work with Republicans on an infrastructure package and even insisted he could work with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell mere hours after McConnell told a crowd in Kentucky he was “100%” focused on stopping the still-new Democratic administration.
Biden’s comments highlight the administration’s struggle to attract widespread GOP legislative support for his signature proposals, even as many of those proposals draw significant support from rank-and-file Republican voters in public opinion surveys. Throughout the presidential race, Biden said his lengthy tenure in Congress made him well-suited to win GOP support for liberal ideas ― a proposition other Democratic candidates suggested was naive.
Speaking to reporters after highlighting an administration program to help restaurants struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden said there was “a significant mini-revolution going on in the Republican Party” when asked about the ongoing efforts to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from party leadership.
Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and the third-ranking House Republican, voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. She has refused to back Trump’s repeated lies that there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. Most House Republicans, along with a majority of GOP voters, have supported and echoed those lies, helping spur a wave of state legislation to limit voting rights.
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