President-elect Joe Biden believes he’s made the country better by rendering President Trump a one-term president.
“I feel like I’ve done something good for the country by making sure that Donald Trump is not going to be president for four more years,” Biden told New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.
The two-term vice president and 36-year senator from Delaware added, though, that there was “no moment of elation.” He compared his win to graduations across the country that were being celebrated without in-person events.
Biden, though, said he was aware that he hadn’t defeated what Democrats malign as “Trumpism.”
“Seventy-two million people is a lot of people to vote for” Trump, he said during the hourlong interview published late Tuesday. “I’m not so sure that ugliness stays. There may be 20 percent of it. Twenty five percent of it, I don’t know.”
The first test of whether there will be any bipartisanship in Washington is whether the Republican-controlled Senate will confirm Biden’s top administration picks after his Jan. 20 inauguration.
GOP senators have already voiced their opposition to Center for American Progress president and Clinton ally Neera Tanden, Biden’s choice to head the Office of Budget and Management. Some have pointed to how she called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “Moscow Mitch” on Twitter, arguing those comments were disqualifying.
“That disqualifies almost every Republican senator and 90 percent of the administration,” Biden said.
Friedman’s wide-ranging conversation covered Biden’s foreign policy regarding China and Iran. In the case of Iran, Biden’s team wants to renegotiate the nuclear deal to extend restrictions on the country’s fissile material production and include Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as signatories. On China, he wouldn’t immediately roll back Trump’s tariffs.
Yet, the pair also joked about Attorney General William Barr telling the Associated Press Monday that the Justice Department had found no evidence of extensive voter fraud that would overturn the election, contradicting Trump.
“Biden joked that Barr had just called him, ‘asking if I can get him in the witness protection program for endorsing me,'” Friedman wrote.
Friedman continued, “Considering the Trump team’s hurricane of dishonest claims about the election results, the president-elect was entitled to a little laugh at their expense.”