Remarks by President Biden in Press Gaggle
Raffles Hotel Le Royal
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
10:34 A.M. ICT
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I tell you what — congratulations to Senator Schumer. He’s got a majority again. And we’re focusing now on — on Georgia. We feel good about where we are.
And I know I’m a cockeyed optimist — I understand that — from the beginning, but I’m not surprised by the turnout. I’m incredibly pleased by the turnout. And I think it’s a reflection of the quality of our candidates. And the — they’re all running on the same program.
There wasn’t anybody who wasn’t running on what we did. They’re all staying with — sticking with it. And so I feel good, and I’m looking forward to the next couple of years.
Q How is your life and your agenda better with 50 or 51, compared to what you were facing?
THE PRESIDENT: Say it again?
Q How is your life or your agenda better with 50 or 51, compared to what you were facing?
THE PRESIDENT: It’s always better with 51, because we’re in a situation where you don’t have to have an even makeup of the committees. And so that’s why it’s important, mostly. But it’s just simply better. The bigger the numbers, the better.
Q What do you hope to get done in the lame duck? And how does it impact your ability to get voting rights and then Roe done in Congress next year?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, it — it kind of depends. I think, rather than — I’d rather talk with the Republican leadership when that’s settled as to what we’re going to try to get done in the lame duck and just take it slow, in terms of what the priorities are.
We’re going to try to get as much done as we can to continue to fulfill the agenda. We’re also going to have to be waiting on what happens with this — with the court case on — on student debt, which I’ve — is very important to me.
And so there’s a lot to be done, but we’re just — we’re going to slow down and — and get a chance to talk to the — to —
Q Mr. President, do you feel stronger coming into the meeting with President Xi Jinping? Do you feel that with this result you’re coming in stronger with President Xi Jinping?
THE PRESIDENT: I know I’m coming in stronger, but I don’t need that. I know Xi Jinping. I’ve spent more time with him than any other world leader. I know him well. He knows me. There’s no — we have very little misunderstanding. We just got to figure out where the red lines are and what we — what are the most important things to each of us going into the next two years. And his circumstance has changed, to state the obvious, at home.
And so, we’re going to have a — we’re going to have a — I think — I’ve always had straightforward discussions with him. There’s never any — any miscalculation about what each of us — where each of us stand. And I think that’s critically important in our relationship.
Q What does it mean for the Republican Party as it stands today, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I heard someone on television as I was coming down here — and I’m not sure whether it was one of you guys, or whether he was a pundit, or — he said — they said, “What about Trump and the Republican Party?” He said — he said, “All Trump has done is reveal who the Republican Party is.” And so, I think the Republican Party is going to have to make — like other — like our parties in the past have done, it’s going to have to decide who they are.
And (inaudible) —
Q Mr. President, are you going to go to Georgia to campaign? And are you still confident that Democrats could keep the House?
THE PRESIDENT: I — confident they could, yeah. Whether they will — look, it’s an out- — it’s a stretch. Everything has to fall our way. I just got off the phone with Congressman Levin who just won. There’s several more seats in California.
It’s — I’m not predicting it’s going — but I’m predicting that, as I’ve said all along, it’d be perilously close. We can win it. Whether we’re going to win it remains to be seen.
Thank you all.
10:38 A.M. ICT