President Biden held a rare, solo news conference on Wednesday to face questions about his administration following the one-year anniversary of his inauguration. The press conference was announced as a surge in Omicron cases and a divided Senate tore apart many plans Biden had for the presidency.
Critics remarked that he faced approval ratings hitting an all-time low. According to ABC News, a Jan. 12 Quinnipiac poll found that just 33% of the country approved of President Biden, and his numbers are still declining.
“Look, I didn’t overpromise, but I think if you take a look at what we’ve been able to do, you’d have to acknowledge we made enormous progress,” Biden said. “But … one thing I haven’t been able to do so far, is get my Republican friends to get in the game at making things better in this country.”
“I don’t think there’s anything unrealistic about what we’re asking for,” he continued. “I’m not asking for castles in the sky. I’m asking for practical things the American people have been asking for for a long time. A long time. And I think we can get it done.”
As political analysts argue whether Joe Biden’s first year in office was good or bad for the United States., the President touted hitting record-low unemployment numbers and distributing over 200 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Biden’s solo press conference also marked the beginning of the political midterm elections in 2022, where the Democrats look to unseat many Republicans to increase support for party legislation.
“You don’t get everything done in the first year. But what we feel good about… is that coming in to an incredibly difficult circumstance–fighting a pandemic, an economic a massive economic downturn, as a result, an administration that was prior to us that did not effectively deal with a lot of these crises–that there’s been a lot of progress made,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday.
“We need to build on that,” she continued. “The work is not done, the job is not done, and we are certainly not conveying it is, so our objective–and I think what you’ll hear the president talk about tomorrow–is how to build on the foundation we laid in the first year.”
President Biden’s solo new conference was just the second time that he appeared before the press in this fashion, as the 79-year-old leader has not answered questions in this manner since the one-year anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2021.
According to CNN political analyst Chris Cillizza, Joe Biden has held half as many press conferences as former President Donald Trump did in his first year, and a third as many as Barack Obama.
The American people, and the press, had many questions for the President regarding Covid-19 stances, the insurrection investigations, foreign policy, and his continuing fight to pass his voting rights bill or his Build Back Better agenda
With opposition from inside the party by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Joe Biden has been unable to pass most of his campaign promises, especially will zero compromise from across the aisle.
“I hope we can get this done, but I’m not sure,” Joe Biden told reporters last Thursday regarding voting rights legislation. “The honest to god answer is, I don’t know whether we can get this done.”
“But one thing is for certain: Like every other major civil rights bill that came along, if we miss the first time, we can come back and try it a second time,” he continued, adding that, “We missed this time. We missed this time.”
President Joe Biden’s vaccination mandate for large businesses was also recently struck down by the Supreme Court, which would have affected nearly 80 million workers planning return-to-work regulations to get the economy moving once again.
According to a Pew Research Center poll into the President’s approval ratings, “fewer adults say Biden cares about people like them, and fewer describe him as standing up for his beliefs, honest, a good role model and mentally sharp.”
As the President spoke to the nation, he answered questions from a population who is both dissatisfied with how the government has handled Covid-19, and 27% resistant to getting the vaccine.
Biden’s victory lap may appear short, but the President stressed Wednesday night that the challenges are nearly impossible to deal with when the country remains so divided.