Speed Reads

Biden's first year

White House issues 2nd clarification on Biden's presser, explains he wasn't doubting 2022 election

Less than 24 hours after President Biden's first press conference of 2022, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is already on clean-up duty. 

In addition to a Wednesday clarification regarding Biden's Russia-Ukraine comments, Psaki spoke up Thursday to correct the president's election legitimacy remarks, which she said were not intended to cast doubt on the upcoming 2022 midterms.

On Wednesday, Biden appeared to tie the legitimacy of the 2022 race to the passage of Democrats' voting rights legislation, saying the veritability of the results "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," per The Hill. Then, in response to a follow-up, Biden said, "I'm not going to say it's going to be legit," in reference to the midterms, per The Washington Post. "It's — the increase and the prospect of being illegitimate is in direct proportion to us not being able to get these — these reforms passed."

Immediately, journalists and Republicans took issue with the president's remarks, notes the Post, with Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), for example, accusing him of forging "the same path that Donald Trump went down, which is attempting to delegitimize an election."

According to Psaki, however, Biden was "making the opposite point," she said. "He was explaining that the results would be illegitimate if states do what the former president asked them to do after the 2020 election: toss out ballots and overturn results after the fact."

"The Big Lie is putting our democracy at risk," she added. "We're fighting to protect it."

At least on Twitter, her correction did not go unnoticed.