I have been criticized for saying that Joe Biden is suffering from dementia. Many Democrats point to his scripted appearances where he is reading prepared remarks from a Teleprompter as evidence of his being of sound mind and body, but what really matters is your ability to speak extemporaneously. That’s where the president falls short. I was watching one of his press conferences yesterday and was amazed by the word salad coming out of his mouth. Check out this exchange as an example and tell me that this president should be in charge of this country at this time.
Q: What is unity when you see it and as you define it?
A: Well, Annie, I think it makes up several of the points you made. One is, unity requires you eliminate the vitriol, make anything that you disagree with about the other person’s personality or their lack of integrity or they’re not decent legislators and the like. We have to get rid of that. I think that’s already beginning to change, but God knows where things go, number one.
Unity also is trying to reflect what the majority of the American people, Democrat, Republican, Independent, think is within the fulcrum of what needs to be done to make their lives and the lives of Americans better. For example, if you look at the data, and I’m not claiming the polling data to be exact, but if you look at the data, you have I think it’s, I hope I’m saying it, I guess, you may correct me if I get the number wrong. I think it’s 57%, 58% of the American people including Republicans, Democrats, and independents, think that we have to do something about the COVID vaccine. We have to do something about making sure that people who are be hurting badly, can’t eat, don’t have food are in a position where they’re about to be thrown out of their apartments, et cetera, being able to have an opportunity to get a job, that they all think we should be acting. We should be doing more.
Unity also is trying to get, at a minimum, if you pass a piece of legislation that breaks down on party lines, but it gets passed, it doesn’t mean there wasn’t unity. It just means it wasn’t bipartisan. I’d prefer these things to be bipartisan, because I’m trying to generate some consensus and take sort of the, how can I say it, the vitriol out of all of this. Because I’m confident, I’m confident from my discussions. There are a number of Republicans who know we have to do something about food insecurity for people in this pandemic. I’m confident they know we have to do something about figuring out how to get children back in school. There’s easy ways to deal with this. One, if you’re anti-union, you can say, “It’s all because of teachers.” If you want to make a case though that it’s complicated, you say, “Well, what do you have to do to make it safe to get in those schools?”
Now we’re going to have arguments. For example, I propose that because it was bipartisan, I thought it would increase the prospects of passage, the additional $1,400 in direct cash payment to folks. Well, there’s legitimate reason for people to say, “Do you have the lines drawn the exact right way? Should it go to anybody making over X-number of dollars or Y?” I’m open to negotiate those things. That’s all. I picked it because I thought it was rational, reasonable and it had overwhelming bipartisan support in the House when it passed.
But this is all a bit of a moving target in terms of the precision with which this goes. You’re asking about unity, 51 votes, bipartisan, et cetera. The other piece of this is that the one thing that gives me hope that we’re not only going to sort of stay away from the ad hominem attacks on one another, is that there is an overwhelming consensus among the major economists at home and in the world that the way to avoid a deeper, deeper, deeper recession moving in the direction of losing our competitive capacity is to spend money now. From across the board, every major institution has said, “If we don’t invest now, we’re going to lose so much altitude in terms of our employment base and our economic growth it’s going to be harder to re-establish it.”
We can afford to do it now. As a matter of fact, I think the response has been, “We can’t afford not to invest now. We can’t afford to fail to invest now.” I think there’s a growing realization of that on the part of all, but some very, very hard-edged partisans, maybe on both sides. But I think there is a growing consensus, whether we get it all done exactly the way I want it remains to be seen, but I’m confident that we can work our way through. We have to work our way through. Because as I’ve said 100 times, there is no ability in a democracy for it to function without the ability to reach consensus. Otherwise, it just becomes executive fiat or battleground issues that get us virtually nowhere. I don’t want to hold, my colleague may know, the Vice President, but I think there were very few debates on the Senate floor the whole last year on almost any issue. Well, that benefits no one. It doesn’t inform anybody. It doesn’t allow the public to make judgments about whose they think is right or wrong. I am optimistic that it may take some time, but over the year, if we treat each other with respect, and we’re going to argue like hell, I’m confident of that. Believe me, I know that. I’ve been there. But I think we can do it in a way that we can get things done for the American people.