Outgoing White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday that she believes Biden is capable of both signaling cooperation with the Republican party while simultaneously challenging right-wing viewpoints he disagrees with.
This comes as the administration finds itself overlooking widespread abortion protests and backlash following a leaked document indicating the Supreme Court is set to overturn Roe v. Wade.
"The President and you have talked about the MAGA crowd or the Ultra MAGA…. how does that jive with his desire to be the bipartisan guy?" asked NPR's Tamara Keith.
Psaki's initial remarks mentioned comments about bipartisanship made by Biden during his trip to a metalworking plant in Ohio last week.
"Well, the President's view is you can do both. He believes that there is work we can continue to do together, we're actively advocating for—he was out traveling and just last Friday on the Bipartisan Innovation Act, we believe that needs to move forward, it should move forward. And that can build on the nearly 80 bills that we signed into law last year that are bipartisan."
But then Psaki had to navigate an explanation about Biden’s feelings towards the likely upcoming overturn of Roe v. Wade.
"But he's also not going to stand by and not call out what he sees as 'ultra MAGA' behavior, 'ultra MAGA' policies, that are out of the mainstream of the country and are not in the interest of the American people. Whether that is efforts to prevent a woman from making choices about her own health care, or whether that is Chairman Scott's policy and proposals that would raise taxes on people making less than $100,000 a year."
This is a continuation of discussions surrounding the White House press secretary's position on abortion protests that sparked off last week. Before a weekend that saw demonstrators gather outside the private family homes of Supreme Court Justices, Psaki had initially issued a blanket response that the Biden White House supports peaceful protests.
These revelations led the press secretary on Monday to update the White House’s positioning. Currently that stance is: "Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety."
When a reporter brought up the illegality of protesting outside private residences in circumstances like SCOTUS Justices, Psaki reacted with a disclaimer that she wasn’t suggesting anyone violate any laws in the first place.
"We understand the passion," Psaki stated when disavowing attacks against Catholic churches and pro-life family centers. Justice Alito and his family had to be moved to an undisclosed location following the initial draft decision leak.
Jen Psaki last week announced she'd be leaving her position as the press secretary for the White House. The person taking her place is Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. A recent review of Jean-Pierre’s social media reveals she previously believed that Brian Kemp "stole the  gubernatorial election" from Stacey Abrams.
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