2:45 P.M. EDT

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Oh, full house.

Q    Hello.

Q    Hi.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Hi, everybody.

Q    Good afternoon.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Good afternoon.

Steve, you’re such a ladies’ man.  (Laughter.)

Q    Look at that.

Q    This is a good group.

Q    He knows.  (Laughter.) 

Q    That’s right.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Okay.  It’s good to see everybody.  Welcome back.  Going to have a couple things at the top.  I know it’s been a while since we’ve done this, so please bear with me.

So, I want to begin by discussing the devastation caused by Hurricane Beryl, which President Biden just addressed directly.

This already deadly storm was upgraded to a Category 5 storm as it heads towards Jamaica.

The president has been briefed on Hurricane Beryl and our administration is in close touch with territory and local officials.

USAID and FEMA has resources and supplies pre-staged in the region, with staff and partners ready to assist.

We urge residents to stay vigilant and h- — and heed the warnings of local officials.  You heard that from the president as well.

Next, I want to express our disappointment in yesterday’s District [Court] ruling, which blocked our temporary pause on pending approvals of liquified natural gas exports.

While congressional Republicans and their allies continue to deny the very existence of climate change, President Biden is committed to combating the climate crisis with every resource available.

That is why we will continue taking action to transition to a clean energy future and reduce emissions, creating good-paying clean energy jobs, and bolster the resilience to — to bolster resilience to the impacts of extreme weather.

I’ll now turn to sharing how we are delivering for American workers and lowering costs for them.

Yesterday, the Biden-Harris administration began expanding overtime protections to millions of American workers.

The Department of Labor’s overtime rule extended overtime protections to 1 million workers making less than $43,888 a year.  And next year, it will extend protections to another 3 million workers by increasing the overtime threshold to $58,656.

That means higher paychecks or more time with family for — for millions of workers.

While elected Republicans side with big corporations and special interests to try to deny workers these protections, President Biden is fighting for families.

As a record Americans travel for the Fourth of July, President Biden is taking action to lower gas prices.

Today, we announced the sale of 1 million barrels of gasoline, which will lower gas prices, particularly in northeast states such as Maine, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

While President Biden has unleashed record energy production, including affordable clean energy, congressional Republicans are siding with Big Oil to give out tax cuts while keeping prices high for families.

Now, this week, the president and — the president and his administration is marking the 60th anniversary of President Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

This landmark legislation prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin and serves as the legacy of generations of courageous and extraordinary Americans who fought to fulfill the promise of our nation.

Despite this critical step forward, securing our civil rights remains the unfinished fight of our time.

That’s why President Biden is fighting actively to protect the civil rights of every — every American.

He signed a landmark executive order to protect voting rights and continues to urge Congress to pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and Freedom to Vote Act.

President Biden appointed Justice Ketanja [Ketanji] Brown Jackson, the first Black woman to be on the Supreme Court, and has appointed more Black women to the federal appellate court than every other president in history combined.

He’s also creating opportunities for every American to thrive, investing historic amounts into HBCUs, and changing our country’s failed approach to marijuana, which disproportionately impacts communities of color.

You’ll continue to hear more from this administration to mark this major, major anniversary.

And finally — thank you for your patience.  And finally, we have a few schedule updates.  So, wanted to share the following with all of you.

This week, the president will speak with Hill leaders and Democratic governors.

He will travel to Wisconsin on Friday.  He will conduct a sit-down interview with George Stephanopoulos from ABC News while on the campaign trail.

He will travel to Philadelphia on Sunday.

And next week — I know you guys are going to be really excited about this — he will host a press conference during NATO.

This is in addition to the previously announced events this week.  And I will be happy to take your questions.

All right.  Colleen, go for it.

Q    Thanks, Karine.  So, there are growing calls from Democrats, including members of Congress, for the president to step aside for the 2024 election because he’s not capable of serving another four years.  What is his response to this?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  So, let me just step back for a minute and, I guess, deal with the questions that have come in about the debate.  And honestly, this is something that the president has addressed himself multiple times since this past Thursday.

And first of all, I want to say we understand the concerns.  We get it.  The president did not have a great night.  As you all know — and many of you reached out during the ca- — the — the debate — the president had a cold.  He had a hoarse voice.  You all heard it.  That’s why you reached out. 

But I will say this, and the president said this over the past couple of days — certainly, right after the debate: He knows how to do the job.  And he knows how to do the job not because he says it, because his record proves it.  Because for three and a half years, almost four years, the rec- — the president’s record has been unprecedented, delivering for the American people.

Another thing that he said that I would add is he knows right from wrong.  He knows how to tell the truth.  And, again, he knows how to deliver for the American people.

Joe Biden is a person — take away his title — he is someone who has dealt with tragedy.  He is someone who has confronted that head on.  He is someone who knows how to get back u- — up once you’ve been knocked down.  That is something that he understands very, very well.  And I think and we believe that’s something that many of Americans across the country understand as well. 

And he knows how to come back.  He knows how to come back.  And so, the president is going to continue to focus on what he’s been doing the past three and a half years.  He’s going to focus — continue to focus on the American people. 

And, you know, to your question, just to add a little bit more to your question.  Look, you heard from Speaker Pelosi.  You heard from Representative Clyburn.  And let me just share — paraphrase a little bit of what they said. 

Speaker Pelosi, who is very close to the president, said it is not about performance in terms of a debate; it’s about performance in a presidency.  And this is a president — you’ve heard me say this; we’ve talked about this — he’s been able to give us an economic recovery — the strongest economic cov- — recovery in modern history. 

Let’s not forget, during the midterms of 2022, many people — many of you all, some of you in this room — said that it was going to be a red wave, and that didn’t happen.  He defeated Big Pharma.  We have seen historic low in crime in more than — down to 50-year low. 

And then you had Representative Clyburn, who said, “The president has done a great job leading for the last three and a half years.  The best predictor of future behavior is past performance.”  This is from Clyburn: And when you look at the record of President Biden versus former President Trump, you see President Biden, who has delivered the strongest recovery in modern history, versus the previous administration, whose plans hurts the middle class; and President Biden, who is committed to protecting our fundamental freedoms versus the former — the former president, the previous administration doing everything that they could, and they did, to overturn Roe v. Wade, and they are responsible for that. 

And those are — that’s coming from two people who are not just leaders in Congress but also close to the president.

Q    I think part of the problem that Democrats are articulating is that it wasn’t just that he had a cold, but rather he had, you know, answers — he was trailing off.  He — he didn’t answer some questions in — in a, sort of, fulsome way.  And speaking of Nancy Pelosi, one of the things that she recently said was that it was a legitimate question whether his performance was an “episode” or a “condition.”

So, I guess I’m wondering —


Q    — if there’s been any consideration given to, like, releasing a more robust set of medical records or —


Q    — or something to show his mental acuity.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  So, I will say this.  Look — and, again, I — I get the question.  It is a fair question to ask.  We are not taking that away.  And that’s why the president certainly has spoken to this.

As it relates to his medical records, we have been transparent.  We have released thorough reports from his medical team every year since he’s been in office.  That is something that we have been pretty consistent about. 

As it relates to, you know, something like a cognitive test, to the question that you’re asking me about what the speaker — former speaker said — obviously, she can speak for herself.  His team, who has said — the medical team said it is not warranted in this case.  We have put forward a thorough, transparent annual report on his health.  So, they have said that is not warranted.  It is not necessary. 

Again, we understand.  We understand.  We’re not taking away from what you all saw or what the American people saw.  We understand it was a bad night.  It is not uncommon for incumbents to have a bad night on their first debate.

And we are going to continue to do the work that we have been doing on behalf of the American people.  I think the president rec- — record certainly speaks for itself.

Go ahead, Weijia.

Q    Thank you, Karine.  You just reminded us that President Biden had a cold on Thursday.  What medications was he taking in the days or hours leading up to the debate?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  And I can — I know that question has come in a couple of times to us.  He was not taking any cold medication.

Q    Was he taking any medication that would have interfered with his performance?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  He was not taking any cold medication.  That is what I can speak to.  I’ve asked the doc- — his doctor, and that’s what he stated to us.

Q    After the debate, did the president get exam-ed by a doctor, or did he get a neurological scan?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  A neurological scan?  Look, what I can say is that — just to take a step back, it was a bad night.  We understand that it was a bad night.  And the president has spoken to this, and he understands that.

And so, I cannot speak to anything beyond what I just shared.  The president has regular annual physicals that we release in a thorough report.  We’re going to continue to do that.  I don’t have anything else beyond that.

Q    So, was the last time he was seen by a doctor, then, in February?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I just don’t have anything beyond that — beyond the question of a neurological exam.

Q    Okay.  Well, you continue to say it was just a bad night.  But is there an explanation, then, for why it was so bad?  If it’s not his stamina, if he prepared, as you guys say, for — for so long —


Q    — if it’s not a problem with his mental fitness, what happened that night?  What did we see?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I will also add that the president also spoke to this as well.  He said, “I’m not as smooth as I used to be.  I don’t debate as well as I used to.  I don’t walk as easily as I used to.”  But one thing that he knows is how to deliver for the American people.  He understands that.  He understands that he’s not a young man, obviously.  He said this. 

And — but his focus is going to continue to deliver for the American people on — on the — on the issues that they care about: the economy; expanding health care; fighting for Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security; making sure that we continue to be leaders on the world stage, which is something that this president has been able to do. 

And turn — you know, turn around the mess — the mess that this last administration created — that’s certainly on — on — not just domestically but on the world stage. 

Go ahead.

Q    Is anyone in the White House hiding information about the president’s health or his ability to do the job day to day?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Absolutely not.

Q    Given the fact that it’s more than a bad night when his political future is threatened, would he be willing to provide more medical information?  Would he be willing to have Dr. O’Connor provide more to answer these questions?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Look, Kelly O, certainly understand the question, appreciate the question.  But what we have provided has been very transparent —

Q    But it’s not recent.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  — has been — has been —

Q    And the country watched —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  But February — February was this year.  It wasn’t too long ago.  It was indeed this year.  And we were — we were — we provided a transparent report, a thorough report —

Q    But you recognize there are many Americans who were concerned about his capacity — was he okay?  What happened?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I mean —

Q    And we’ve now gone several days where he has only done teleprompter comments. 


Q    He has not taken questions.  I know you’ve announced a press conference. 


Q    We appreciate that. 

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  (Laughs.)

Q    An interview, we appreciate that. 


Q    But there is a period of time here where the public is trying to understand what happened.  And the president could help to answer that by engaging with us in an unscripted way right now. 

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  So, let me just say a couple of things.  There’s a couple of things that you said that I do want to address. 

Number one, hours — I don’t know — less than an hour after the debate, he went and he engaged directly with the American people.  Right?  He went to a watch party.  He was in a room with hundreds of supporters who watched the debate. 

And when he walked in, they cheered him on.  And he did a photoline with them for some time.  Some — some of your colleagues had an opportunity to speak to these supporters.  He did that.  And that was something that he was able t- — that he was able to do right after. 

And then, we stopped at a Waffle House, as some of you all know, and spoke to a — a full — a packed — a packed restaurant.  So, he spent some time there. 

Then the next day, he went to North Carolina.  He spoke in front of hundreds of supporters there who said, “We support you, Joe.  We love you, Joe.”  And so, he was able to do that.

In those two and a half days or so after the debate, he went to four states and engaged with supporters, engaged with American people, everyday people, heard directly from them. 

And let’s not forget, when we landed in North Carolina — I think it was, like, 2:00 a.m. in the morning — he engaged with supporters there as well. 

So, the president has been out there.  He’s been listening to supporters.  It’s something that he loves to do — not just supporters but American people out there — everyday people who appreciate what he does, who wants to hear more from him, as you just stated, and got that opportunity to do just that. 

I think it matters that he’s going to do an interview on Friday.  I think it matters that he’s going to go to Wisconsin and do that — right? — engage with everyday people.  We’re going to continue to do that.  Nothing has changed in that regard.  We’re going to continue to be out there.  He’s going to be in Pennsylvania as well this weekend, as I just stated.

Q    And one more. 


Q    We’re reporting that Hunter Biden has been in some meetings with senior advisers.  Why is the president’s son involved?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  So, a couple of things.  I do — I saw that reporting as I was coming out.  So, a couple of things there. 

Look, the president, as you know, is very close to his family.  This is a holiday week, Fourth of July.  He spent time with his family, as you all know and reported, at Camp David.  Hunter came back with him and walked with him into — into — into that meeting — that prep — that speech prep. 

And, you know — and he ended up spending time with his dad and his family that night.  That is basically what happened.  It is a week where there’s going to be more family members who are going to come to the — to the White House.  I’m sure you’ll see some of them on Fourth of July.  Many more are expected to be here —

Q    No issue with family being in the White House. 


Q    The question, though, would be —


Q    — is he participating in meetings with senior advisers?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  What I can say is that he came back with his dad from Camp David, he walked him into the speech prep, and he was in the room.  That, I can tell you: He was in the room. 

Anything else coming out of that reporting, I can’t speak to.  But I can say that, you know, he’s close to his family, which is not unusual.  They were together at Camp David.  They came back together.  You’re going to see a lot more family this week. 

Go ahead.

Q    Thank you, Karine.  I want to go back to that question that Pelosi raised earlier today. 


Q    Pelosi asked — it is — Pelosi said, “It’s a legitimate question to ask if this is an episode or is — this is a condition.”  Which one is it?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Well, what I can tell you is that he had a cold and a bad night.  I would not see this as an episode.  I would see this as what it was and what we believe it to be, which is: It was a bad night.  And he did — on top of that, he had a cold.  And that is the reality of the situation.  That is the reality of what happened that night. 

Q    You’ve certainly seen the reporting out there that —


Q    — this is not just a standalone instance, that other people are saying that this has happened before.

One, do you see these as legitimate questions?  And also, are you being straight with the American people on this?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I think it — I see it as a — I’m — I see it as a legitimate question.  I do.  And I — and I have said it is a fair question to ask.  The president sees it as a legitimate question. 

And I — I think, also, the president saying, “I am not a young man.  I’m not as a smooth — a smooth talker as I used to be.  I don’t walk as easily as I used to be — I used to.  I don’t debate as well as I used to.”  I mean, the president is admitting and saying — and this is not the first time, right?  He’s talked about his age.  He’s joked about his age many times before. 

And so, you heard that directly fr- — and we are acknowledging what — what people are seeing.  But we do believe this was a — in — in this instance, it was a bad night. 

Q    Is he disabled?  Is the president disabled?

Q    One more — just — just —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  No.  No.  And — let me — let me finish with your colleague, please.

Q    Okay.  You can come back.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I know, but shouting out — come on.  You know better.  You know better.  Come on. 

Q    Just — just one final question.  Immediately after the debate, we started to hear the concern from Democrats on Capitol Hill, calling it just flat out a disaster.  Why didn’t the president immediately personally reach out to leaders on Capitol Hill like Leader Jeffries and Leader Schumer?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Look, I can say this.  Right after the debate, we were on a two-and-a-half-day swing, four states.  The president was out there hearing directly from the American people, engaging directly from the Amr- — American people. 

Obviously, he respects the Democratic leadership.  It is leadership there that has helped him deliver for the American people an unprecedented record on behalf of Americans across the country.  So, we appreciate them for — obviously. 

But he was out there.  He was out there directly with supporters, engaging with them, whether it was a tarmac, whether it was at a rally, whether it was at a watch party or a fundraiser.  And I think that’s important to note, too.  And he was hearing from them. 

But, at the same time, those leaders — Democratic leadership was hearing from members of his team — high-level senior members of his team.  It’s not like we were silent.  It’s not like we were quiet.  It’s not like we were not engaging with them.  We were. 

And now that the president is back at the White House, he’s going to have some time to talk to these Democratic leadership — the Democratic leadership on the phone.  I mentioned Democratic governors.  He’s going to do it with leaders o- — on the Hill as well.  And that’s important.

And then, he’s going to go back out — out into the states, obviously, and talk to — and talk to Americans there. 

So, he’s — he can — he’s going to do both. 

Q    What’s his message going to be to the Democratic governors and Hill leaders when he talks to them? 

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  So, I’m not going to get into a private conversation.  We — we wanted to share these meetings.  I know it was getting out there.  It was floating out there.  And I know it was — and we just wanted to confirm that w- — that we were indeed having these conversations. 

But we normally — as you know, our posture is not to dive into — dive into private conversations.  He’ll have these conversations.  I think they’ll be important.  They’ll hear from him.  He’ll hear from them. 

But I also want to note that there is a regular engagement with — whether it’s Inte- — Intergovernmental Affairs or the Office of Leg Affairs — regular engagement from my colleagues here with governors, with mayors, and also, obviously, with congressional — congressional leaders.  That is something that is a regular engagement. 

Obviously, the president himself will — will engage with them this week. 

Q    Karine, does he still have a cold?  He seemed to be clearing his throat a bit at the —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  He still has a cold.

Q    — last event.


Q    Okay.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I asked — he still has a cold.

Q    Okay.  Thank you.


Go ahead.

Q    Thanks, Karine.  You’ve said a couple of times now that the White House has provided thorough medical records for the president.  The White House released a six-page summary back in February.  I don’t think that was a full accounting, necessarily.  And Dr. O’Connor, in that memo, described the president as quote, “a healthy, active, robust 81-year-old male, who remains fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency.” 

I think that is clearly not what the majority of Americans are seeing.  And we have a new poll from CBS News that says 72 percent of registered voters say the president does not have the mental and cognitive health to serve as president. 

So, are you saying that the majority of Americans are misguided and that they just need to trust Dr. O’Connor and take him at his word?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  So, a couple of things — and I want to say the president is feeling better.  And you saw him last night.  You saw him today.  But he does indeed still have a cold.

Look, you know, I — I want to be very sensitive here, and I think it is important to be sensitive here.  We understand how the American people are feeling.  We get it.  We do.  And w- — I do not want to take away from that. 

I’m not going to speak — I — I know that there was — you all did a poll — CNN do — did a poll.  I’m not going to speak to every poll.  I’m just not going to do that. 

And also, I’m — you know, constraints in — in doing that as we’re heading into — header- — heading into an election in November, as you know.

What I will say is majority of Americans also support the work that the president has doing in a sense of the — his agenda and what he stands for and what he’s been fighting for, whether it’s reproductive rights, whether it’s an economy that works for all.  And that is something that the president is going to continue to do. 

And this is why we have said — and I have said this multiple times from here — is that’s why the president acknowledges — we get it.  We get what Americans are feeling.  That’s why he’s acknowledging he’s not a young man.  That’s why he’s acknowledging he’s a little slower than he used to be in — in walking and not as smooth at speaking.  We get that. 

But we also want to make sure that we point to the successes that he’s had, his record, and we want to continue to build on his unprecedented record.  And I’m not going to discount what the American people see or feel. 

What I can say is what we know from our side of things.  We could speak to his record, and we could speak to what the president has been able to acknowledge.  And I think that’s important too.  And that’s basically acknowledging what Americans are seeing and feeling.

Q    Well, if you get it, why not release more about his medical — his physical and mental health?  Why not?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  We — what we have released has been very comprehensive.  It has been.  It has been transparent.  And if you compare it — right? — it has.  We have put that out there.  And — you know, and we’ll continue to do so: put that information out there.

You know — and, M.J., I want to be very clear.  I get the question that you’re asking me.  But this is also a president who has had a historic administration — he has — in delivering on legislation, key policies.  That is because with age comes wisdom and comes experience.  And I think that matters as well.

Go ahead.

Q    Did — did Dr. O’Connor watch the debate?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I believe Dr. O’Connor traveled with us to the debate, so —

Q    So, did he have any concerns after seeing the president’s —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  No, not at all.

Q    — debate perform- —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:   Not at all.

Q    I have one more question, actually, Karine.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Sure, sure.

Q    The — the campaign’s theory of the case for the president staying in the race has been that the president has a better shot of defeating Donald Trump than any other Democrat.  We have a new CNN poll that shows the vice president actually has a slightly stronger showing against Donald Trump than the president.  So, how does the president explain not passing the baton to his own 59-year-old vice president, given that kind of data?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  So, look, as you know, I’m constrained to speaking directly to your poll.  And I get it, and I — I hear the question.  I got to be mindful.  That is something for the campaign, as you started saying — the — the — what the campaign has laid out, their argument of the case, that is something for them to take up, and that is something for them to answer.

What I can speak to is the president’s record.  What I can speak to: what he’s been able to accomplish.  And the things that he’s been able to do and get done is be- — is actually in line with majority of Americans.  And I think that’s important, too, to note.

And, again, I will say: with age, comes wisdom and experience, and that certainly — it’s something that the president brings.

Go ahead.

Q    Thanks, Karine.  We’ve seen some real anger expressed by donors and democratic officials — sort of how you guys have handled the president, shielding him away from impromptu settings and denying — excuse me — until last week that there had really been any age-related slippage. 

So, I’m wondering if you guys have had a moment to reflect on that strategy.  Any regret over it?  And if — you know, what you would say to folks who — who think it’s arrogant for there not to be either changes towards that strategy or with some of the personnel that are around the president.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  And you — you’re talking about the strategy specifically about who’s around the president?  Is that what you’re —

Q    Well, I think it’s — it’s two parts, right?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Yeah.  Mm-hmm.

Q    One is a kind of a small, concentrated group of aides that have been with the president for a very long time, and the other is sort of systematic decisions to shield the president from the impromptu moments that we would see — that we’ve seen in previous administrations, whether it’s press conferences or interviews or —


Q    — you know, just being out in public more frequently.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I mean, look, a couple things there too.  Look, I — this year, the president has done more than 40 interviews.  And unscripted — right? — those interviews are unscripted.  He has done more than 500 gaggles — right? — of course, unscripted, talking directly to many of you.

Q    I —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  No, let — let me just finish.

And so, he enjoys doing that.  He enjoys engaging with all of you, and we’re going to continue making sure that happens. 

I will say this.  This is a — obviously, this is a president that was a senator for 36 years.  He was a vice president, as you all know — I’m just repeating things that you all know — for eight years.  And so, he has longtime, you know, advisers that have been here with him for a long time.  I don’t think that’s unusual.

He also has people who have — who are new to — new to the administration that also advise him.  Look, I’ve been in meetings with the president where it’s been a diverse group of people, and he sees us and he — he knows the reason why we’re sitting in front of him is that we have something to share.  And he wants to hear from all of us.

I’ve heard him say, “Hey, what is it that — what do you gu- — what do you think?  What do you think?”  And so, my experience has been that that — that world is indeed open and that he does get to hear from a diverse group of people.  That has been my experience.

And — but it is not unusual for someone who has been around for that long of time to have a group of people that he — that’s been around him for some — for — for a minute.  Right?  And I think that makes sense.  There’s nothing about that that is nonsensical.  That actually makes sense.

And we’re going to continue to get him out in front of all of you to take your — to take your questions at a steady — a steady — steady drumbeat.

Q    You mentioned NATO, and I have —


Q    — two — two questions.  One is just —


Q    — a logistical one, which is you mentioned the press conference.


Q    Is that going to be kind of a real, big boy press conference that we’re used to, or —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  (Laughs.)  Did you say “big boy press conference”?  (Laughter.)  

Q    Yeah, like one of these two-and-twos tha- — that might be a little more limited.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  So, I believe — and I know you guys are holding me to it — it is a — I believe it’s a solo press conference.  We’ll certainly have more to share with all of you as we get closer —

Q    And then more —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  — to next week. 

Q    More thematically —

Q    We should call it the big boy (inaudible).  (Laughter.)

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Yeah, I was about to say “big boy” Justin over here —

Q    Yeah, yeah.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  — is asking some big boy questions.  Okay.  

Q    What do you — you know, the president is not the only leader —


Q    — that’s entering that NATO conference.  A little bit on the backfoot: Emmanuel Macron has had some electoral losses.  The UK is obviously going through a big election right now.

With all these leaders kind of coming in to D.C. a little bit diminished, is it’s — how are you guys — how is that changing how you’re looking at — at the summit and what is possible to —


Q    — to accomplish with it?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Look, it’s — it’s a good question.  Look, I think one thing, as I talk about the president’s record and what he’s been able to do — right? — he’s been able to strengthen our — our worldview, the way that people see us across the globe — other leaders, our partners and allies — because of that experience.

Again, with experience brings — yes, with age brings experience and wisdom.  And I think because of that, the president has been able to build a coalition. 

If you think about Ukraine and the aggression from Russia and what Russia has done to Ukraine as they continue — as Ukraine take — continues to — to fight that aggression, to fight for their freedom and democracy, the president was able to bring 50-plus countries to support Ukraine, to support their fight. 

And so — so, look, I will say that the president is looking forward, certainly, to hosting the leaders of our 31 NATO Allies.  As you know, there’s two additional — two additional countries have done — have joined NATO.  And that’s because, again, of the president’s leadership.

And next week, in Washington, D.C., as you know, the historic summit is to mark the 75th anniversary of NATO’s founding.  So, for 75 years, NATO has kept us and the world safer.  And under the president’s leadership — this president’s leadership, our Alliance is stronger, it’s — it’s larger, it’s more united than ever. 

And so, I think what you’re going to see is that displayed next week right here in Washington, D.C.  And I think I — I — I would — I think you all would agree that the president played a very, very, very big role in where NATO is today. 

Go ahead, Jacqui.

Q    Thank you, Karine.  The administration strongly criticized the media for clips showing the president appearing to be confused, freezing at times.  And you called it “cheap fakes,” “misinformation,” “disinformation” —


Q    — in one case, even implied that it was the product of artificial intelligence, calling it “deep fakes.” 


Q    Do you have any regret over —


Q    — using that language?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Not at all.  Not at all.  And let me be clear, it was a certain part of the media — I mean, you can speak to this better than I can — a certain part of the media which was doing this.

And, look, independent, mainstream fact-checkers in the press and misinformation experts have been calling out cheap fakes.  And at the end of the day, they’re fakes — that’s what they were — targeting the president. 

They had said — the reporters and these misinformation experts said that this president was being targeted.  And what we did was echo that.  That’s what we did.  And, look, we’ll de- — certainly de- — continue to call that out. 

And the “cheap fakes” didn’t come from me.  I didn’t — I didn’t coin that.  That didn’t come from this White House or this podium.  That came from the media.  They called it “cheap fakes.” 

And they said, this president, President Biden, was being targeted on misinformation.  It was purposefully being done to this president.  And what we did is we echoed that.  So, I don’t regret it at all. 

Q    Well, the administration also —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  It was just the facts.

Q    — used that sort of approach to counter The Wall Street Journal report, for instance, that interviewed 45 people over several months who criticized, you know, the president’s handling of himself in meetings.  And broadly —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Which approach?  I — I’m — I’m not — I’m not following the question.

Q    Talking about the president’s age being a factor and a concern —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  How — how was cheap fakes — I don’t understand —

Q    The approach from the White House to —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  — where cheap fakes was —

Q    — to criticize the reporting —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  — was relating —

Q    — to — to — to basically cast the reporting as not true. 


Q    And — and broadly, this has been — the reason I ask is, like —


Q    — the administration’s response to our questions often seems to be: Don’t believe your lying eyes.  The border is secure, Afghanistan withdrawal was a success, inflation is transitory. 

So, is that going to change?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I mean, you just laid out — Jacqui, you just laid out a bunch of things.  So, just give me a second here. 

First of all, I think this is a give-and-take.  Right?  Even in this briefing room, we go back and forth.  I go back and forth with you, with your colleagues, that — everyone here.  And I think we have a right to say if something we don’t think is true or something we think we want to push back on.  That is a right for us to do, just like you have a right to push me and say, “Actually, our sources, our reporting share — say this.”

I think it’s a give-and-take.  This is what makes — what we do in this room almost every day.  This is an exercise of democracy.  This is an exercise of freedom of the press.  That’s what we’re doing here. 

And I think if there is some reporting that we don’t believe to be true, I think it’s okay if we go back and forth and say, “Actually, we don’t think that reporting is true.”  Right? 

And so, I don’t see anything wrong with that.  That’s how — that is what this is.  That is what this is.  This is what we actually do on a — on a daily basis.  This is how we lead the world on making sure that journalism exists and you all have the right to do your jobs. 

But, you know, we also have our right, as the press office here in the administration, if we don’t believe something is true or we want to share our side of things, that we do so. 

You know, look, on the other things that you just listed, you know — you know, I’ve talked about this president’s record a lot — often here in this just — however minutes I’ve been at this podium.  And, look, when it comes to the economy, the data shows it.  When it comes to health care, the data shows it. 

Afghanistan, obviously, it is a — it is a — an important conversation to have.  And that is something that the president wanted to do and end a year — a war — a forever war.  He wanted to make sure that we stopped putting our young women and men in harm’s way. 

And that is a difficult decision to make.  It is not an easy decision to make.  But he’s the president and commander in chief, and he wanted to make sure that we got our armed troops out of harm’s way. 

And so, I — I honor and respect our back-and-forth.  And I — it is always an honor and privilege for me to do this job, and I will continue to do that.

Go ahead.

Q    Thank you, Karine.

Q    Thank you, Karine.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  No, Michael.

Q    Okay.

Q    Oh —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Mic- — go ahead, Michael.

Q    Okay.

Q    Come back to me?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Yeah, I — I’ll get you. 

Q    I — I have two big boy questions.  (Laughter.)  Medium boy.  I don’t know.  Whatever.

First, does the president intend to spend most of his days in July on vacation in Rehoboth and Wilmington?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  We certainly will have more to share on what his schedule is going to look like for the rest of the month.  I don’t have anything to share at this time.

I can assure you the president will be out and about talking directly to the American people.  I just laid out the next couple of days.  I — I don’t have anything to share beyond —

Q    I g- — I guess the —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  — beyond Sun- — Sun- — well, actually, beyond NATO.  Right?  As you know, there’s going to be the NATO Summit next week.  So, I can’t — don’t have anything to share beyond that. 

But the president will be out there talking directly to the American people.  I have to be mindful.  Obviously, we’re in campaign season.  The campaign could speak more to what — what his schedule is going to look like specifically. 

Q    Okay.


Q    And then the second question.  We just posted a story, which prob- — I’m sure you’ve seen —


Q    — because we just posted it —


Q    — in the middle of briefing.  But in which many people that we’ve talked to describe an accelerating series of episodes, moments when, over the course of the last several weeks, the president appeared confused or listless or would lose the thread of a conversation in private meetings in — at the G7, in Normandy, at the White House — not all the time, not — not saying that that’s the way he is all the time and that there’s clearly moments people say that he’s forceful and with it and all of that. 

But these people suggest that the — that what happened, what Americans saw at the debate has a precursor.  What do you say to that?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  So, I want to be mindful and respect your reporting.  I have not read it.  I have not seen it.  So, it’s hard for me to respond to it directly. 

But what I can speak to more broadly is that I have — have engagement with the president pretty regularly.  What I see is a strong, resolute president who’s always willing and — and able to work on behalf of the American people. 

I do not know who these folks are that you speak of, so it’s hard for me to — to talk about that and to — and to speak to that.  I can just speak to my experience and go back, again, on the president’s record and what he’s been able to deliver on behalf of the American people.  So, I just do wa- — I do want to be mindful.

Q    And — and, I guess, just one follow-up —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Sure.  Sure, sure. 

Q    — is, you know — you know, 50-million-plus Americans —


Q    — saw the debate last Thursday.  They get a very different story from you.  You just described a very different-sounding president.  Obviously, other administration officials describe him very differently than what people saw. 

How do you reconcile those two versions of — of a president: one who appeared the way they did to millions of people and the other who appears always to be, you know, sort of very forceful and — and not have any of those episodes?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I mean, look, the president spoke to this.  You heard me speak to this.  We believe — and others have said this, not just me — other folks who have been on networks and also, obviously, has talked — spoken to all of you is — it was a 90-minute debate.  It was a bad night.  That’s what we believe it to be. 

We’re not taking away what people saw.  We’re just not.  That is — want to be very clear about that.  And, you know, we want to — to also make sure people understand that the president realizes. 

You know, I keep saying this over and over again.  He said he’s not as young as he used to be.  And he has —

Q    I think it’s —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  He has addressed this over and over and over again.  But you saw him last night.  Right?  You saw him last night.  You saw him at these — at the rally.  You saw him at the w- — watch parties.

There’s been many instances.  State of the Union, you saw him take on — take on Republicans by himself and what was happening back and forth in the State of the Union. 

There has been, also, many instances where the president has really showed his strength and resolute that all of you have seen and commented about it.  You know? 

And so, I think we cannot — we cannot forget that as well. 

And we also heard from, you know, President Obama, who — who himself has said, you know, his first debate wasn’t great.  He talked about that.  And most incumbents, their first debates aren’t great. 

And so, look, we’re going to continue to build on the unprecedented record by continuing to fight for the American people.  That is our commitment, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do. 

Q    Thank you. 

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Thank you.  Thanks, Michael.

Go ahead.

Q    Thanks, Karine.  I have two questions. 


Q    But to follow up on that, you talk about how you’ve spent time with the president.  You know, when you’re looking at the time you’ve spent with him, have you ever seen the president have a bad night like we saw on the debate stage —


Q    — during your time here at the White House?


Q    So, were you surprised by what you saw on the debate stage?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I mean, look, I know that he had a cold.  Many of you were reaching out to — to us, to my team and myself directly.  You heard the hoarse voice.  We — we were able to confirm he had a cold.  He was under the weather, obviously. 

And, look, you know, we all have bad — bad nights — right? — or bad moments.  It is not — it is not unusual.  I just said there have been incumbents — most incumbents, for their first debate, you know, it doesn’t go well.  So, it’s not also unusual in that regard as well. 

So, look, you know, we’re going to move forward.  That’s what we want to do.  We want to look forward.  And we just announced some engagement that the president is going to have.  We announced, obviously, the interview with ABC and George Stephanopoulos.  He’s going to go to Wisconsin.  He’s going to go to Pennsylvania.   We’re going to have a press conference next week. 

We want to turn the page on this.  And we want to turn the page for the American people as well, because we know that they need to see him out there.  He’s going to continue to be out there.  He has been.  And we understand how important that is. 

And so, we’re going to turn the page.  We’re going to get out — get out there across the country.  Americans are going to see him for themselves.  And I think that’s going to be very important as well. 

Q    And has the president had a chance to speak one on one with Vice President Harris since the debate?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I can’t speak to any conversations that they’ve had.  And so, I’ll just — I’ll just leave it at that.  I don’t have any readout of a conversation between the two of them.

Go ahead.

Q    Thanks, Karine.  So, I’ve spoken to a lot of donors since the debate.  And, you know, they want to know what exactly happened that night.  So, just to follow up on M.J.’s question, I know you said —


Q    — he hadn’t taken any cold medication.  Was there any other medication he had taken?  That’s — that’s what many of them are asking.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  No, I understand.  I was asked about the — I — I was asked about the cold medicine.  I asked about the cold medicine.  He was not taking any cold medicine.  And I don’t have anything beyond that.  I — I don’t have anything beyond that to share. 

And, look, I’ve — I’ve answered this question multiple times at this point.  I don’t have anything else to add beyond what I have shared with your colleagues here in the room. 

We really, truly want to turn the page on this.  We really want to be able to get out there and, you know, speak directly to the American people, you know, speak directly to you all — the president will.  And I think that’s important too.

Look — and not forget what this president has been able to do the last three and a half years, how he’s been able to deliver.  And there is a stark contrast in what this presi- — president has done and what Republicans in Congress are doing.  Right? 

He’s trying to protect our rights, as president.  He’s trying to protect our freedoms.  He’s trying to protect, really, important programs that matter to the American people.  He wants to protect women’s rights, Roe v. Wade.  He wants to continue to build an economy that works for all.  That’s what we’re going to focus on.  And that’s what Americans are going to hear con- — continue to hear from this president. 

Anything else, I — I think I’ve litigated this a lot already in this briefing room.  I just don’t have anything else to add. 

Go ahead, Andrew.

Q    Thank you, Karine.  Two questions. 


Q    You — you have repeatedly referred to the president’s outing after the debate, the watch party; his remarks the next day in North Carolina; his appearances at fundraisers; his appearances this morning at the D.C. Emergency Operation Center. 

All those appearances were scripted events where he spoke —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Not all.

Q    — from a tel- — most spoke from a teleprompter.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I know.  But you said “all.”  And not all.

Q    Okay. 

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Let’s just be —

Q    Well, if you’re correcting me, then “most.”

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Let’s be —

Q    They’re scripted, spoken from a teleprompter.  How are Americans supposed to get the sense that the president is fully engaged and capable and thinking off the cuff when he’s reading from prepared remarks so often?  And why can’t he just come down here?  The briefing room is 30 seconds away.


Q    Why can’t he come down here and assure us and the American people —


Q    — that he’s okay? 

And — and I have a follow-up.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Okay.  First of all, it wasn’t all.  It was — it was, you know, when he was speaking in front of the audience.  But it wasn’t all.  When you think about the tarmac, when you think about — when you think about engaging at the Waffle House, when you think about engaging at the watch party and doing a very long rope line. 

And when he was at the tarmac, it was the middle of the night — literally, 2:00 o’clock at night.  We w- — we all wanted to go to bed, but the president — (laughs) — was certainly very focused and zeroed in on the American people who were out there wanting to — cheering him on and wanting to see him and take selfies and get a hug from this president.  That’s what you saw. 

And I don’t know if you missed this, but I also shared that he has done more than 40 interviews this year alone, and we’re going to continue that.  He’s going to do an interview with ABC, George Stephanopoulos, this week.  Those were unscripted.  Those were unscripted.  He’s done more than 500 gaggles.  Those are unscripted. 

And we want to continue to do that.  We do.  We want to continue to do that.  There’s going to be a — a press conference next week, a NATO — a “big boy” press conference, as Justin has reminded us — next week.  And so, that’s going to be important as well. 

Q    And I have a follow-up on —


Q    One of — one of my colleagues behind me shouted a similar question to what I’m going to be asking you.  But I think, given —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I don’t remember the question, but okay.

Q    Given what happened on Thursday, given the reporting in the New York Times and other outlets about the president’s more frequent lapses, losing his train of thought — all of us saw what happened on Thursday where he simply could not form coherent answers to many or — or some, if you will, of — of the questions and appeared to lapse into nonsensical answers at the end.  “We beat Medicare,” for — for instance.


Q    I’m going to ask something delicate, and you — you may not like it; the president may not like to hear, if he’s watching.  But I think the American people need to get a yes or no answer on this. 

Does President Biden, at 81 years old, have Alzheimer’s, any form of dementia, or degenerative illness that would cause these sorts of lapses?  And it’s a yes or no question.  And if you don’t know, why don’t you, as one of his senior staff members, know the — the yes or no answer?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I have an answer for you.  Are you ready for it?

Q    Yes.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  It’s a no.  And I hope you’re asking the other guy the same exact question. 

Okay.  Go ahead. 

Q    (Inaudible.)

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Go ahead.

Q    On the — the statement that Congressman Doggett put out.


Q    Does the President feel like members, the Democratic Congressman should be able to speak their minds on this?  Or does he think, you know, calling for him to withdraw was hurting the party writ large?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I mean, look, this is — that’s something about the Democratic Party that we — we really respect.  It is a big-tent party.  Many people are going to have their opinions.  And we are going to have our disagreements.  And that is what is important. 

And we really respect other people’s opinions and thoughts.  I think that’s what makes, you know, this party, different — right? — than the other side.  Certainly, we see that with how it’s playing out in Congress or how it tends to play out in Congress. 

So, the congressman is going to have his opinion.  He’s going to have his thoughts.  That’s for him to speak to.  We are not — this is not a president that’s about his personal politics.  That is not — this president is all about.  He doesn’t care only about himself.  That is not what this president is all about. 

And I also read — read out some su- — some supportive statements that we have heard from leaders of — of Congress.  Former Speaker Pelosi, I read out what she s- — she laid out.  I read out what — what Congressman Clyburn has said.  And I think that matters as well. 

And you all have heard from multiple supporters over the past couple of days since — since Thursday.  And I think that’s important as well. 

Q    And just to be clear —

AIDE:  Karine, you have time for a couple more.

Q    Sorry.  Just to be clear, the — the president has not spoken to either Senator Schumer or Leader Jeffries? 

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  What I can say is that the president plans to speak to them this week.  I don’t have anything beyond —

Q    Is there a reason, though?  It’s been five days.  I mean, you’d think —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Well, I — I ki- — I —

Q    — they would have spoken.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  No, I — I hear you.  I hear — I addressed this moments ago.  The president was on the road for two and a half days, did four states.  His — his advisers, his high-level White House officials were talking to congressional members, as some of you have reported, over the past couple of days.  I think that’s important.  They have regularly engaged not just with congressional members, with governors, with — with mayors. 

And so — and then there’s the campaign that does it on a political level.  Right?  They’ve had regular calls.  I think some of you have — have reported on — on that as well. 

Now, this week, the president is going to take some time and talk to those congressional members.  And as you — as I stated, also to Democratic governors tomorrow. 

Go ahead.

Q    You’ve mentioned that — sometimes that candidates have a bad first debate.  There’s been a lot of discussion going around — and, of course, no decision yet — but that maybe there isn’t a second debate. 

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  So, I want to be super careful.  That’s something for the campaign to respond to.  But I do believe they did respond to this.  And I — I — it’s not — I do believe they have responded to this, and they said that there is going to be another debate.  But I — that’s something for them to speak to. 

And I will just quote what President Obama has stressed.  Right?  “Bad debate nights happen.  Trust me, I know.”  And then he praised President Biden’s leadership and his agenda of fighting for the middle class, our freedoms, and the rule of law.  And you heard the president speak to the rule of law just last night. 

And so, certainly, that will continue.  But you’ve heard from a former president about this — this particular issue.

Go ahead, Michael.

Q    Thanks, Karine.  Obama was 51 during that first —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I kind of knew he would say that.

Q    — debate.  (Laughs.)

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I knew you would say that.  But it ha- — but it’s — he’s not the only one.  He’s not — it — it has happened in the past.  First debates for incumbents, it — you know, it sometimes is not their best. 

Q    I know you’ve said a couple of times that you want to turn the page. 


Q    The issue — I think the core issue here is that you can’t turn the page on age. 

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Yeah.  And —

Q    Age and decline is a one-way street. 


Q    So — so —


Q    — at the end of the day —


Q    — you know, if these are the questions you’re getting now, what are the questions you’re going to be getting in two years or three years?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I have thoughts about that — (laughs) — about two or three years from now.  But — (laughs).  Look, I —

Q    How — how can you or anyone —


Q    — say that you have confidence that he can be in this job at that time? 

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Look, here’s — here’s what I would say to that.  We are not turning the page on age.  That’s not what we’re doing.  We understand.  We get that.  Right?  The president said, “I am not a young man.”  He said that.  We get that.  We understand how the American people feel.

What we want to continue to do is deliver for the American people.  That’s what — that’s what we want to see.  That’s what the president wants to do.  And that’s the turning of page.  Let’s continue on the successes — on the unprecedented successes that this president has had and on — and on issues that majority of Americans care about: health care, economy — those are things that they care about — democracy, freedom, fighting for the rights for women to make decisions on their bodies.  That’s what the president wants to continue to — that’s the turning of the page.

But we get it.  Look, I — I — I’m not taking away from — from that.  I don’t want to do that.  That is not — I do not want to walk off this podium and that’s what you all think.  We’re not doing that.  And the president doesn’t want you all to — to do that. 

But he can do the job.  He can.

Q    But what’s the answer to the question about can — what gives you confidence about two years from now or three years now or five years from now?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  We believe — look, we believe that this is a president that is able to continue to deliver and build on the unprecedented success that he’s been able to do.  That’s what we believe.  We believe and he believes it.  And he is determined and committed to doing that. 

And — and, Michael — and I think the thing, too, that’s important is we have been able to do things that most modern — modern presidents haven’t been able to do.  And that matters as well. 

I know you guys are trying to get me to look into the future.  But what I can say to you is this is a president that is committed to doing that.

Q    I’m not sure anybody —


Q    — anybody doubts that commitment.


Q    I think the question is given the performance — and I apologize — 

Q    No.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  No, Michael is like, “No, no, no, you take this.”  (Laughter.)

Q    I mean, I — I — I just think the question, you know, it’s — it’s about — it’s the way we look at our elderly parents and grandparents. 


Q    It’s, you know — you know, you — you — you maybe visit them once a year and you see troubling signs because you don’t live in the same city, perhaps.  And the first question that you go to is, “Hmm, I wonder if other — you know, I wonder if this is, like, a one-time thing, or if it’s something that has been happening for a — you know, a longer time that we need to deal with?”


Q    And the second question is —


Q    — you know, what —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  You know, you’re getting — you’re going — you’re going —

Q    — where are they going to be in —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  — multiple times here.  (Laughs.)

Q    Well — but where — where are they going to be in a year?  Where are they going to be in two years? 


Q    Do we need to put them in a ho- — like, you know, all of the questions —


Q    — that go through that.  And this is sort of the American ver- — people’s version of that.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I — I hear — and — and I — and I hear you.  And that’s what I’m saying.

Look, this is why the president goes through, you know, medical examinations — right? — and we release those medical examinations.  Right?  We’ve done that the past couple of years.  We’re going to continue to do that.  This is why we’re going to go out there and continue to be out there and do interviews and talk to the American people. 

And at the end of the day — I got to be careful — right? — because we are in a campaign season.  But the American — that’s — you know, the American people will see for themselves, right?  And I just want to be super — super careful. 

But, look, this is a president that has worked incredibly hard for the American people.  And not just as president, as vice president, as a senator.  And he is committed.  And we cannot — we cannot take away from the fact of his three and a half years of leadership — what that has been able to do, what he’s been able to get done. 

And that doesn’t — that — that doesn’t come from, you know — that doesn’t come easily.  And he did it in historic fashion.  He did.  And the data proves that. 

And so, look, he’s committed to getting — continuing to — to make that progress, continuing to work — whether it’s climate change, whether it’s the economy, whether it’s health care, that is what he is committed to doing. 

And n- — he had a bad night.  He did.  And we are admitting that, owning up to that.  You heard the president speak to that.  And I think that’s imp- — important for the American people to hear from us and from him as well. 

I know I have to go.  I’ll be back tomorrow. 

But go ahead.

Q    Thanks, Karine.  I just wanted to go back to the Representative Doggett statement.


Q    You know, part of his statement, he said that Biden staying in the race could kind of work against helping to save democracy.  So, I know you said it was a — a big-tent party, people have their opinions.  But how do you corral Democrats when there are members of the party who — who believe that about the president staying in the race?  And do you have a response to that specifically?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Yeah.  Look, this — this is a president — he jumped into this election — this, I can talk about, obviously — in — in 2020.  And I — and I remind you all that he beat the other guy in 2020.  He won in 2020.  That’s why he’s president. 

But he jumped in because our democracy, right?  He jumped in because of what was happening; because he believed he needed to do everything that he can to protect our democracy and to — and now protect our freedoms because of what happened with Roe v. Wade. 

Obviously, that’s not — we don’t agree with that.  What we believe is that this is a president that has had — that is going to continue to fight for democracy and that is going to continue to focus on making sure that, you know, we get Roe v. Wade into law — right? — make sure that IVF is not taken away from families, make sure that contraception is not taken away from families, make sure that we fight for our voting rights.  Right? 

There are so many things that we need to continue to fight for.  And at the end of the day, this is a president that has delivered, working closely with Congress and doing some of these things in a bipartisan way. 

And I think the reason why — that he’s been able to get some of these legislation done — whether it’s the CHIPS and Science Act, the veterans act, the bipartisan infrastructure legislation — is because of who he is and because of how he has that experience to work across the aisle. 

That doesn’t happen with everybody.  And this president has been able to do that.  So, we’re going to continue to do that work.

Guys, I’ll see you tomorrow. 

Q    Thanks, Karine.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  All right.  Thanks, everybody.

Q    Thank you.

3:42 P.M. EDT

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