Biden Holds Rare Press Conference; Schumer’s Filibuster Change Fails

President Joe Biden held a rare press conference as the Senate rejected his “voting rights” bill and filibuster changes.


President Joe Biden held a rare two-hour press conference Wednesday to mark his one-year anniversary as president. A few hours later, the Senate rejected his “voting rights” legislation and proposed filibuster changes.

  • Biden doubled down on his recent turn to sharply partisan criticisms of Republicans, and defended his Afghanistan pullout, saying “I make no apologies.”
  • Biden predicted Russia would decide to invade Ukraine. He admitted there were disagreements within NATO, something that had been previously reported but not admitted publicly by any major leader.
  • The president allowed that a “minor incursion” into Ukraine may be met with a less strident US/NATO response, an admission that was quickly walked back by the White House press office.
  • Ukraine’s foreign minister condemned Biden’s comments. Ukraine’s president tweeted “there are no minor incursions and small nations. Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones.”
  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s ploy to eliminate the filibuster, the 60-vote rule needed to end debate and pass bills in the Senate, failed Wednesday evening.
  • As expected, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) voted with all Republicans against the proposed “filibuster carve-out” for “voting rights” legislation, killing Biden’s “voting rights” agenda.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • Politico explored why Chuck Schumer fought to kill the filibuster, even though he knew from the start it was likely doomed to failure.
  • The Washington Post had some takeaways from Biden’s press conference: he tried to staunch the bleeding with black voters; was defensive on his COVID-19 response; and recognized inflation as a pressing concern.
  • CNN saw the press conference as “signaling a change in approach” as Biden enters Year Two.



  • Fox News covered the moments from the press conference that garnered the most criticism, including his Ukraine comments and when Biden “lost his cool” in an interaction with a reporter.
  • National Review chronicled “Biden’s Year of Failure” and the missteps, broken promises, and underperformance that in their view characterized his first year in office.
  • The Washington Examiner criticized Biden’s claims that the GOP is rigging elections as his own version of Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rhetoric. Biden said, “I’m not going to say [the 2022 election is] going to be legit… [its legitimacy] is in direction proportion to us not being able to get these [voting rights] reforms passed.

Author’s Take

Yesterday’s press conference was Biden’s first in 78 days. Biden has only given nine press conferences in his first year in office, a modern low (Trump held 22). Now it’s clear why.

Ukraine’s government saw Biden’s Ukraine gaffes as giving Putin a green-light to launch a hybrid invasion of their country. The Ukraine crisis was probably the one issue where precise language and a clear message was paramount. Instead, his press office had to walk back his comments as soon as he walked away from the podium.

Biden’s case of foot-in-mouth disease wasn’t limited to Ukraine. He doubled down on his Georgia speech comparing his political opponents to George Wallace and Bull Connor. He made “no apologies” for the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal.

Biden attacked the legitimacy of the 2022 elections. His comments garnered intense criticism from Republicans and the press, although Trump released a statement agreeing with his former rival.

This morning, the RealClearPolitics poll average of Biden’s job approval sits at a dismal 41.0 percent, with 53.9 disapproving. Happy anniversary, Mr. President.

Return to Freespoke

© Dominic Moore, 2022