President Biden is standing firm on bipartisanship, telling the audience at CNN’s town hall in Cincinnati on Wednesday night that it produces results.
Biden worked with Republicans during his time as a senator and vice president, and said he will continue to do so as president. “I’m going to say something outrageous,” he told moderator Don Lemon. “I don’t know you’ll find any Republican I ever worked with who says I ever broke my word, didn’t do exactly what I said I would do and keep my word. And I was able to get an awful lot of compromises put together to do really good things, to change things.”
This is still possible today, Biden said, although he acknowledged that the “well has been so poisoned over the last four years, and even now there’s still this lingering effort.” Republicans have come up to Biden privately to say they agree him on issues, the president said, but add that if they vote along with him, they’ll face primary challenges.
Still, “I think that’s all beginning to move,” Biden said. “I don’t mean overnight, don’t get me wrong, I’m not playing out some panacea here, but I think people are figuring out that if we want to … I’ve always found you get rewarded for doing what you think at the time is the right thing and people really believe you believe it’s the right thing to do. And so I think you’re seeing it coming together.”
Biden thinks that on Monday, the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill will move forward after the procedural vote. “I’m not being facetious,” he said. “You had up to 20 Republicans sign the letter saying, ‘We think we need this deal.'” He’s in close contact with Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), with the pair routinely discussing the bill. “Portman is a good man,” Biden said. “I talked to him before I got here, and I really mean, he’s a decent, honorable man, and he and I are working on trying to get this infrastructure bill passed.”