New Biden goal overshadowed
President Joe Biden came to his first press conference eager to talk about COVID-19, but was instead repeatedly asked about other growing crises.
The big picture: Biden opened with a prepared statement pledging to provide 200 million vaccines in his first 100 days, doubling his previous goals.
- He then found himself answering multiple questions on the border, hinting that he may be willing to end the filibuster and giving every indication that he plans to run for re-election.
- He essentially pleaded for time to fix a border situation that he said President Trump left in tatters.
Highlights from Biden, via Axios' Zachary Basu:
- Rejected the notion that the surge in migrants at the U.S. border is because he's a "nice guy" who is soft on immigration, insisting it "happens every year."
- Tore into Republican efforts to restrict voting in states like Georgia, calling it "pernicious," "un-American" and "sick."
- Called Chinese President Xi Jinping a "smart, smart guy" who "doesn't have a democratic bone in his body."
- Said it's his "plan" to run for re-election and that he "fully expects" Vice President Harris to be his running mate.
- Acknowledged that it would be "hard" to meet the May 1 deadline that the Trump administration negotiated with the Taliban to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan.