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GOP senator knocks Biden for ‘spreading things that are untrue’ in voting rights speech

Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy (La.) knocked President Biden on Sunday for “spreading things” that he claimed were “untrue” in last week’s voting rights speech, suggesting the remarks will not help unite the country.

Asked during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” about Biden’s voting rights speech in Georgia, Cassidy said Biden made claims that were “misleading” and not helpful in the president’s quest to bring Americans together.

“Now, if you’re trying to call the United States of America to unity, trying to get us to where we will come to common ground, you don’t end up spreading things that are untrue, are frankly lies, and that’s why people think we need to filibuster; otherwise, you’re just totally rolled by somebody who’s willing to sacrifice truth to pursue their agenda,” Cassidy told co-anchor Jake Tapper.

The Louisiana Republican also criticized House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who appeared on the program earlier and, when asked, did not say Biden’s remarks in Georgia went too far. Cassidy also accused Clyburn of making wrong or misleading statements in regard to election legislation.

Biden sparked criticism with his passionate remarks in which he called for changing the Senate filibuster to pass voting rights reform on the national level.

At one point, he asked if people wanted to be on the side of Martin Luther King Jr., the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Abraham Lincoln or Confederate President Jefferson Davis, segregationist Bull Connor and George Wallace, who opposed the civil rights movement.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the president’s remarks were “incoherent, incorrect and beneath his office,” and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Biden may have “gone a little too far” in his rhetoric.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), however, called Biden’s speech “wonderful” and “fabulous” but did suggest that that his reference to Connor was arcane.

The Senate is set to take up voting rights reform on Tuesday after Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said they will not change the 60-vote filibuster to pass such legislation. Democrats were looking to change Senate rules amid GOP opposition to election reform.

–Updated on Jan. 18 at 7:52 a.m.

Tags Bill Cassidy Dick Durbin Jake Tapper Joe Biden Joe Manchin John Lewis Kyrsten Sinema Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi

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