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Joe Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to the media on the south lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C. on May 30, 2022. (Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

'What in the Neoliberal Hell Is This?' Biden Suggests 'Rational' GOP Senators Will Act on Guns

"I beg of Democrats to start dealing with Republicans as they are and not the made-up version you wish they were," said one critic.

Jessica Corbett

U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday sparked anger and frustration in the wake of a Texas mass shooting with remarks about gun safety reform that included describing two GOP congressional leaders as "rational."

"We're in the midst of a civil war, but most Dems don't seem to realize it."

The president said on the White House lawn that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is "a rational Republican," and he thinks Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is too, according to multiple reporters present.

Biden's comments came after McConnell told CNN last week—after the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde—that he "encouraged" Cornyn to talk with Democrats to "come up with a bipartisan solution."

Responding on Twitter to the president's Monday statement, Our America co-host Sawyer Hackett simply said, "Wait, what?"

Writer Thor Benson was similarly concise, tweeting, "Hmmm..... no."

Former Democratic Ohio congressional candidate Nina Turner asked, "What in the neoliberal hell is this?"

Jeet Heer, a national affairs correspondent at The Nation, said that "this might be justified if it yielded results in Republican lawmakers voting for parts of Biden's agenda, but it won't."

"As it stands," he warned, "it's giving centrist voters permission to vote for any Republican who is not" former President Donald Trump or Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

Noting that "Cornyn was tweeting a few days ago about making schools like airports," journalist Aaron Rupar said that "I'm skeptical of his rationality on guns."

"I beg of Democrats to start dealing with Republicans as they are and not the made-up version you wish they were," he added.

Last Tuesday, Salvador Ramos used an AR-15-style-rifle that he legally purchased in Texas after his 18th birthday to murder 19 children and two teachers at the Uvalde elementary school. The teenage gunman was then killed by law enforcement. Biden's Department of Justice is now reviewing the police response to the shooting.

The president told reporters Monday that "I think things have gotten so bad that everybody's getting more rational about it, at least that's my hope."

"The Second Amendment was never absolute," he said, according to the Associated Press. "You couldn't buy a cannon when the Second Amendment was passed. You couldn't go out and buy a lot of weapons."

Biden also explained the limitations on his powers, saying that "I can't dictate this stuff. I can do the things that I've done—and any executive action I can take I'll continue to take—but I can outlaw a weapon. I can't... change the background checks. I can't do that."

When Biden visited Texas over the weekend, onlookers shouted "Do something!" at him. In a Sunday letter, the Principal Recovery Network made a similar demand of all U.S. elected officials.

Faced with nationwide calls for action and data on firearm deaths in the United States, House Democrats have repeatedly moved to strengthen gun laws in recent years, but unless the party's entire caucus in the Senate decides to end the filibuster, most legislation cannot make it through the evenly split upper chamber without GOP support.


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Watchdog: Secret Service Didn't Notify Capitol Police of Threat to Pelosi Until After Jan. 6 Attack

"This is deeply disturbing and requires a full investigation," said one legal expert.

Jessica Corbett ·


Advocates Welcome Temporary Block on South Carolina's 6-Week Abortion Ban

"Today's decision is a huge relief for people who desperately need abortion care in South Carolina right now," said one reproductive rights lawyer.

Brett Wilkins ·


Federal Court Strikes Down Ruling That Blocked Biden's Drilling Moratorium

"Today's decision demonstrates how flawed the preliminary injunction issued in June 2021 was, and that Interior must quickly take action to reform the federal fossil fuel program," said one environmental lawyer.

Julia Conley ·


Two Weeks Before Payments Resume, Progressives Tell Biden 'Time to Cancel Student Debt'

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said that "we're having conversations daily with the White House and borrowers will know directly and soon from us when a decision is made."

Jessica Corbett ·


Progressive Mandela Barnes Leads Ron Johnson by 7 Points in New Poll

"People are done being represented by an out-of-touch, self-serving multimillionaire like Ron Johnson," said Wisconsin's Democratic Senate nominee.

Kenny Stancil ·

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