“President Biden admitted yesterday, in his own very different way, that the 2020 election may very well have been a fraud, which I know it was,” the former president said in a statement on 20 January, the anniversary of his last day in office. “I’m sure his representatives, who work so hard to make it look legit, are not happy.”
During his first press conference of 2022 on Wednesday, Mr Biden was asked if he believes the upcoming midterms will be fairly conducted and that the results will be legitimate even if Democrats are unable to pass voting rights legislation before the elections are held this autumn.
Mr Biden said that “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”, referring to Republican state-level voting laws, which some observers, civil rights organisations, and Democrats have argued make it harder for mostly Democratic constituencies to vote.
“Remember how we thought not that many people were going to show up to vote in the middle of a pandemic? We had the highest voter turnout in the history of the United States of America,” Mr Biden added. “Well, I think if, in fact — 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 — and defy the attempt to keep them from being able to vote.
“I think you’re going to see the people who they’re trying to keep from being able to show up, showing up and making the sacrifice that needs to [be made] in order to change the law back to what it should be,” he said. “But it’s going to be difficult. I make no bones about that. It’s going to be difficult. But we’re not there yet. We’ve not run out of options yet. And we’ll see how this moves.”
Mr Biden said during the press conference that “the increase and the prospect of” the 2022 midterms “being illegitimate is in direct proportion to us not being able to get these reforms passed”.
“I talked to the president a lot about this and he absolutely is not predicting that the 2022 elections would be illegitimate,” she said. “The point he was raising is both that in 2020, even among challenging circumstances, efforts to suppress the vote in the midst of a pandemic, there was record turnout” among both Democrats and Republicans.
“The point [Mr Biden] was making is that the former president asked a number of states, seven or more in fact, to overturn the outcome of the election,” she added. “If there’s an effort to do that, we have got to fight against that, that’s what commitment is.”
Ms Psaki said Mr Biden “was not making a prediction” and that he has “confidence in the American people and we’re going to do everything we can to protect people’s rights”.