Jordan Candler / January 21, 2022

Friday Short Cuts: Biden One-Year Anniversary Presser Edition

Notable quotables from Joe Biden, Mollie Hemingway, Ben Sasse, and more.

Click here for the full transcript, and here for our analysis of President Brandon’s self-congratulatory press conference.

Electoral Hoodwink

“I’m confident that we can take the case to the American people that the people they should be voting for — who are going to oversee whether your elections, in fact, are legit or not — should not be those who are being put up by the Republicans to … determine that they’re going to be able to change the outcome of the election.” —Joe Biden

“It’s so important to not turn the electoral process over to political persons who are set up deliberately to change the outcome of elections.” —Joe Biden

“We have significantly beefed up a number of enforcers in the Justice Department, who are there to challenge these … unconstitutional [election integrity] efforts on the part of the Republicans to stack the election and subvert the outcome.” —Joe Biden

“No matter how hard [Republicans] make it for minorities to vote, I think you’re going to see them willing to stand in line … and defy the attempt to keep them from being able to vote.” —Joe Biden

“Remember how we thought not that many people were going to show up to vote in the middle of a pandemic? We had the highest voter turnout in the history of the United States of America.” —Joe Biden (Thanks to Democrats changing the rules and expanding bulk-mail balloting, which they now want codified into federal law.)

Dog and Pony Show

“What is the trajectory of the country? Is it moving in the right direction now? I don’t know how we can say it’s not.” —Joe Biden

“I didn’t overpromise, but I have probably outperformed what anybody thought would happen. The fact of the matter is that we’re in a situation where we have made enormous progress.” —Joe Biden

“Can you think of any other president that has done as much in one year? Name one for me.” —Joe Biden (“I think the goal is to do POSITIVE things for the country, not negative things.” —Mollie Hemingway)

“Am I satisfied with the way in which we have dealt with COVID and all the things that … go along with it? Yeah, I am satisfied. I think we’ve done remarkably well.” —Joe Biden

“I’ve had five Republican senators … who’ve told me that they agree with whatever I’m talking about for them to do. ‘But, Joe, if I do it, I’m going to get defeated in a primary.’ We got to break that. That’s got to change.” —Joe Biden

Grand Delusions

“I don’t think there’s anything unrealistic about what we’re asking. I’m not trying to — 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.” —Joe Biden

“Anybody who listened to the [voting] speech [in Atlanta] — I did not say that they were going to be a George Wallace or a Bull Connor. I said we’re going to have a decision in history that is going to be marked just like it was then. … Go back and read what I said and tell me if you think I called anyone who voted on the side of the position taken by Bull Connor that they were Bull Connor.” —Joe Biden (“That is a rather precious distinction. It is like saying I did not say you are an arsonist; only that you share the same pyromania.” —Jonathan Turley)

“I don’t believe the polls.” —Joe Biden

“My infrastructure law will … make our economy move faster and reduce prices for families. … The bottom line: If price increases are what you’re worried about, the best answer is my Build Back Better plan.” —Joe Biden


“One thing I haven’t been able to do so far is get my Republican friends to get in the game of making things better in this country. … I did not anticipate that there’d be such a stalwart effort to make sure that the most important thing was that President Biden didn’t get anything done.” —Joe Biden

“I think the [midterm election] report card is going to look pretty good, if that’s where we’re at. But look … Mitch [McConnell] has been very clear he’s going to do anything to prevent Biden from being a success. … He has one straightforward objective: make sure that there’s nothing I do that makes me look good … with the public at large.” —Joe Biden

Foreign Policy Facepalms

“I think what you’re going to see is that Russia will be held accountable if it invades. And it depends on what it does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do.” —Joe Biden (“Biden basically gave Putin a green light to invade Ukraine by yammering about the supposed insignificance of a ‘minor incursion.’ He projected weakness, not strength.” —Senator Ben Sasse)

“There was no way to get out of Afghanistan, after 20 years, easily. Not possible no matter when you did it. And I make no apologies for what I did.” —Joe Biden

Baghdad Bobs

“To go for an hour and 50 minutes, hour and 45 minutes, and not screw up — really, demonstrably, not screw up really at all — [it’s] really hard to do that. … The president’s mind is perfectly fine.” —The Recount Executive Editor John Heilemann

“Lets [sic] be clear: [Biden] was not casting doubt on the legitimacy of the 2022 election. He was making the opposite point: In 2020, a record number of voters turned out in the face of a pandemic, and election officials made sure they could vote and have those votes counted. 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. We’re fighting to protect it.” —White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki

And Last

“The heck with this. This guy has spent the past year screaming about the other guy not accepting election outcomes and here he is casting doubts on the legitimacy of elections 10 months from now. Because Republicans won’t give him what he wants.” —John Cooper

“Joe Biden has a 33% approval rating but lives in such an information bubble that he genuinely believes the American people think he’s ‘outperformed’ in his first year in office.” —Mercedes Schlapp

“We saw … why the president’s staff generally doesn’t let him go out and meet the press.” —Senator Tom Cotton

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