President Joe Biden campaigned as a politician who would seek to unify a deeply divided nation.
In the wake of the first major elections since his inauguration, however, reports indicate he called to congratulate victorious Democrats while offering no such calls to GOP winners.
Biden’s selective congratulatory calls
This is just the latest incident to lead some critics to believe Biden was only telling voters what he thought they wanted to hear when he promised to be a unifying force in D.C.
Of course, his decades in public office have provided plenty of examples that involve telling people one thing and ultimately doing another.
As for the elections held earlier this week, Biden reportedly called New York City Mayor-Elect Eric Adams and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, both Democrats, to congratulate them on their win.
Notably missing from his round of phone calls, however, was Republican Glenn Youngkin, who mounted an upset win over Democrat Terry McAuliffe to become Virginia’s next governor.
White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed this detail on Thursday, telling reporters that the president and Youngkin “have not spoken” since the latter’s electoral victory.
“The will of the people is clear”
She went on to explain that “obviously, the president campaigned for his friend Terry McAuliffe and would have preferred a different outcome,” noting that “the will of the people is clear and the president has always believed in working across party lines for the good of American families.”
To that end, Jean-Pierre said that Biden “looks forward to doing that” with Youngkin. If Biden were sincere about his desire to work across party lines, however, many critics believe that should have started with a congratulatory phone call.
Not only did the president campaign in person on behalf of McAuliffe, but the Democratic Party threw massive resources into the effort to defeat Youngkin. Nevertheless, the GOP candidate’s message resonated with more Virginians and he came out on top.
Some pundits see the outcome of the Virginia gubernatorial race as evidence that voters are beginning to reject the Democratic agenda. Even Vice President Kamala Harris indicated ahead of Election Day that the result might serve to predict the outcome of future races.
Since Youngkin’s victory, however, the Biden administration has pushed back on such notions. Jean-Pierre, for example, said that “no election determines the outcome of future elections.”