Where Did Joe Biden The Negotiator Go?

When He Ran For President, Joe Biden Boasted That He ‘Worked Across The Aisle To Reach Consensus, To Help Make Government Work,’ ‘To Bring Democrats And Republicans Together … To Deal With Big Issues,’ Explaining That There’s ‘No Other Way To Get Anything Done In This Country’


Joe Biden Pitched Himself To Voters As Someone Who Could ‘Bring Democrats And Republicans Together In The United States Congress … To Deal With Big Issues,’ Saying ‘I Can Do That Again’

JOE BIDEN: “Folks, I’m running to offer our country, Democrats, Republicans, and independents, a different path…. [S]ome of these same people are saying, Biden just doesn’t get it. You can’t work with Republicans anymore. Well, folks, I’m going to say something outrageous. I know how to make government work. Not because I’ve talked or tweeted about it, but because I’ve done it. I’ve worked across the aisle to reach consensus, to help make government work in the past. I can do that again with your help.” (Joe Biden, Remarks, 5/18/2019)

  • BIDEN: “I have been relatively good at bringing people together in the United States Congress and politically…. I don’t expect anybody to voluntarily agree--agree to be in the second edition of Profiles in Courage. I try to recognize the limits of where they can go and still find a principled compromise.” (Joe Biden, Remarks, 7/28/2020)
  • BIDEN: “The next president is going to inherit a world in disarray, number one. Number two, at home, we are a divided nation in a consequential way. I’ve spent my whole career-- and the one thing people give me credit and blame for is bringing both sides together, coming up with principled compromise. So the two things, the reason I’m running, both those issues tend to be in my wheel house.” (Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” 6/10/2020)


Biden Emphasized ‘Our Government Was Designed To Work’ On Compromise And There Is ‘No Other Way To Get Anything Done In This Country,’ Pledging He Would Do That As President

BIDEN: “That’s part of a president’s job to lead, listen, and heal. And to listen to everyone…. [C]ompromise is not a dirty word. It’s how our government was designed to work. I found that my whole life. And so I’ll do [that] as president.” (Joe Biden, Remarks to National Education Association, 7/03/2020)

  • BIDEN: “Well folks, if we can’t unite the country, we’re in trouble. America and our system runs on consensus. Compromise is not a dirty word. I’m running as a proud Democrat, but I’m going to govern as an American president. I’ll work as hard for those who don’t support me as those who do. I do not see American terms of red and blue. Bringing the country together, that’s the job of a president. It’s a duty to care. To care for everybody.” (Joe Biden, Remarks, 10/16/2020)
  • BIDEN:[F]olks, working together matters. It matters. The American people want their government to work. And I don’t think that’s too much of them to ask. I know some people in D.C. say it can’t be done. Well, let me tell them something, make sure they understand this -- the country is sick of the division…. All they want is for their president, their senators, their representatives to do their jobs. Just do your job…. But first, above all, to have a president, a president who measures his or her days by the people he brings together rather than the division that he sows.” (Joe Biden, Remarks, 5/18/2019)

BIDEN: “This is reassuring in the fact that we’re all acknowledging that we have to reach across the aisle, get things done. No other way to get anything done in this country.” (Democratic Presidential Debate, Westerville, OH, 10/16/2019)


Yet As President, Joe Biden Continues To Refuse To Sit Down With Speaker McCarthy And Negotiate A Compromise On Raising The Debt Ceiling

AP: ‘White House to McCarthy: No negotiations on debt limit’ (The Associated Press, 1/21/2023)

“President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he is open to meeting again with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy — but would not give in to the Republican’s demand for negotiations on the debt limit. ‘Happy to meet with McCarthy,’ Biden said at the end of a brief press conference at the White House. ‘But not on whether or not the debt limit gets extended. That’s not negotiable.’” (“Biden: I’ll Meet With Mccarthy — But Not On Debt Limit,” Politico, 4/26/2023)

WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: “Look, as you’ve heard us say before, we will not be — be doing any negotiation over the debt ceiling…. So, there is going to be — there’s going to be no negotiation over it.” (White House Press Briefing, 1/13/2023)

JEAN-PIERRE: “We have been very, very clear about that.  We are not going to be negotiating over the debt ceiling.” (White House Press Briefing, 1/17/2023)

JEAN-PIERRE: “We will not — there will not be any negotiations over the debt ceiling.  We will not do that.” (White House Press Briefing, 1/18/2023)

JEAN-PIERRE: “Like the President has said many times, raising the debt ceiling is not a negotiation …” (White House Press Release, 1/20/2023)

JEAN-PIERRE: “What we have been very clear about this is that there should be no negotiation.” (White House Press Briefing, 4/19/2023)



Related Issues: Debt And Deficits