Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters Prior to Departure for Atlanta, Georgia


Administration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr., 2022

Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters Prior to Departure for Atlanta, Georgia

January 11, 2022

Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate and Fair Fight Founder Stacey Y. Abrams

Q. Good morning, sir. Quick question on voting: Any thoughts on Stacey Abrams skipping your speech today, sir? Are you insulted she is skipping the speech?

The President. I'm insulted you asked the question. [Laughter] I spoke with Stacey this morning. We have a great relationship. We got our scheduling mixed up. I'm going to be—I talked with her at length this morning. We're all on the same page, and everything's fine.

Q. How about the other boycotts, sir, other boycotts of the speech?

Q. [Inaudible]—with Ossoff?

Voting Rights Legislation

Q. What do you risk, sir, by putting so much on the line for voting rights when you know the state of the Senate?

The President. Say that, again, please?

Q. What do you risk politically, sir, when you know the state of the Senate?

The President. I risk not saying what I believe. That's what I risk.

This is one of those defining moments. It really is. People are going to be judged: Where were they before and where were they after the vote? History is going to judge it; it's that consequential. And so the risk is: making sure people understand just how important this is—just how important this is.

Q. Mr. President——

Global Coronavirus Pandemic/Federal Assistance to States

Q. Mr. President, are you concerned overall about the progress on the pandemic right now? Do you feel like your administration is not meeting the targets it needs to meet?

The President. Well, I am concerned about the pandemic just because it—worldwide, it's not slowing up very much.

And, thank God, what we've been able to do is, I've been able—does this look stupid? [Laughter]

[At this point, the President removed his facemask.]

I've been able to generate significant Federal help, in terms of folks both coming into the hospitals and administering all the help that these States need. That's what we're doing now. But I'm confident we're on the right track.

Thank you all.

Q. Mr. President—[inaudible]—with Ossoff?

NOTE: The President spoke at 10:45 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White House prior to boarding Marine One. A reporter referred to Sen. T. Jonathan Ossoff.

Categories: Interviews With the News Media : Exchanges with reporters :: White House. Locations: Washington, DC.

Names: Abrams, Stacey Y.

Subjects: Civil rights : Voting rights; Communications : News media :: Presidential interviews; Coronavirus pandemic, international cooperation efforts; Diseases : Coronavirus, domestic prevention efforts; Elections : Voter participation.

DCPD Number: DCPD202200011.