President Biden on Wednesday said the legitimacy of the upcoming midterm elections could depend on Democrats passing voting rights legislation.
“I’m not saying it’s going to be legit. The increase in the prospect of being illegitimate is in direct proportion to us not being able to get these reforms passed,” Biden said during his second solo press conference at the White House, referring to the 2022 election.
He added that he hasn’t given up on passing voting rights legislation to counteract new voting laws being implemented by Republicans at the state level.
“You’re not going to see me, and I don’t think you’re going to see the Democratic Party, give up on coming back, assuming that the attempt fails today,” he said.
Senate Democrats are pursuing a doomed effort on the floor Wednesday to pass voting rights legislation.
The effort will not succeed because Republicans will block it, and two centrist Democrats — Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — oppose making changes to the filibuster to allow it to pass on a majority vote.
The president responded that it “depends” earlier in the press conference when asked if he thinks the upcoming election results will be legitimate if voting rights legislation doesn’t pass.
“Well, it all 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,” he said.
Biden made the case last week in Georgia for Democrats to alter the Senate filibuster to pass voting rights bills, which was praised by civil rights leaders but also regarded as a belated push for legislation to counteract Republican state voting laws.
During Wednesday’s press conference, Biden also said he believes minorities will vote in the upcoming midterm elections, even if Democrats can’t pass voting rights legislation.
“No matter how hard they 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,” Biden told reporters.