Biden is ‘not sure’ if passing his Build Back Better agenda would have changed the outcome of Virginia’s election

joe biden
US President Joe Biden.
  • President Joe Biden discussed the results of Virginia's Tuesday election with reporters on Wednesday.
  • The president, who campaigned for Democrat Terry McAuliffe, resisted any blame for his party's loss.
  • Biden continued to stress the importance of passing his Build Back Better agenda.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday said he's unsure if the passage of his Build Back Better agenda could have changed the outcome of Virginia's Tuesday night gubernatorial election, where Republican Glenn Youngkin beat Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

The high-stakes statewide election has largely been seen as a precursor to crucial midterm races coming in 2022, where national polls suggest Democrats are barely clinging to Congressional power.

While talking to reporters on Wednesday, the president resisted taking responsibility for Democrats' defeat in the key race, while emphasizing the need to pass his $1.75 trillion spending package, which has been stuck in Congressional gridlock for months.

But even though Biden said the package should have already been passed ahead of Tuesday's election, the president expressed uncertainty that doing so would have led to a different outcome for Democrats in Virginia, suggesting instead, that factors like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and economic strife played a role in galvanizing frustrated conservatives.

"People need a little breathing room. They're overwhelmed. And what happened was I think we have to just produce results for them to change their standard of living and give them a little more breathing room," Biden said during a White House address, according to Politico.

"But I'm not sure that I would be able to have changed the number of very conservative folks who turned out in the red districts who were Trump voters," he added. "But maybe. Maybe."

McAuliffe previously encouraged Washington Democrats to do "whatever it takes" to pass their policy agenda, acknowledging that his campaign was closely tied to DC politics.

Meanwhile, Youngkin, despite winning Trump's endorsement, worked to distance himself from the former president's 2020 election fraud claims, even as McAuliffe and Biden both tried to tie the conservative businessman to Trumpian policies.

Biden beat former President Donald Trump with ease in Virginia in the 2020 election, but the president pointed to the state's years-long history of electing a governor from the party not in current control of the White House as another possible reason for Youngkin's success on Tuesday.

Democrats faced additional losses in Virginia: Republicans flipped control of the lieutenant governor seat and attorney-general.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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