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Biden says democracy met the test on Election Day

<i>Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>US President Joe Biden
AFP via Getty Images
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
US President Joe Biden

By Maegan Vazquez and Nikki Carvajal, CNN

President Joe Biden said Thursday that democracy met the test on Election Day after warning ahead of the races that the nation’s future would be at stake when Americans cast their ballots earlier this week.

Though neither the US House or Senate majorities have been called for either party, Biden celebrated with fellow Democrats Thursday, touting their ability to stave off the historical headwinds of a dramatic political pendulum swing in Republicans’ favor in the midterm elections.

Speaking to Democratic campaign workers at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC, Biden called Election Day “a good day for America, a good day for democracy, and … a strong night for Democrats.”

“It was the first national election since January 6 and there were a lot of concerns about whether democracy would meet the test,” the president said. “It did.”

Less than a week before the election, Biden delivered an urgent appeal near Capitol Hill warning that democracy was on the ballot, stating — just blocks from where a mob attempted to interrupt the certification of the 2020 election — that “we can’t take democracy for granted any longer.” Specifically, he called out the “candidates running for every level of office in America — for governor, for Congress, for attorney general, for secretary of state who won’t commit to accepting the results of the elections they’re in.” He also squarely blamed former President Donald Trump for fomenting the wide spread of election misinformation.

As the results of the midterm elections have trickled in this week, Republicans have not seen the dramatic wins they’d hoped would serve as a referendum on Biden’s agenda. Many of Trump’s endorsed candidates in safe Republican seats have won their races, including several election deniers. But Trump’s picks in toss up races — which play a pivotal role in the fate of each chamber — have not fared well. Those losses are likely to lead to some soul searching amongst Republicans hoping for a successful political message in 2024.

On Thursday, Biden made a point to commend “mainstream Republicans” who lost their elections and accepted defeat, and he also renewed his vow to try to work across the aisle — while also telling Republicans he expected them to do the same.

“I’m prepared to work with Republicans,” Biden said, “but the American people have made it clear they expect Republicans to work with me as well.”

But he repeated that he has some political red lines with Republicans, including threatening to veto any GOP attempts to “repeal the power we just gave Medicare to reduce prescription drug costs,” cuts to Social Security and Medicare, attempts to “walk away from this historic commitment we just made to deal with a climate crisis” and tax cuts for the wealthy.

The president gave much of the credit for the turnout to female voters, saying women “made their voices heard” in the wake of the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. And he also credited young people, whose overwhelming turnout appears to have been a large boon for his party.

“Well guess what? Y’all showed up and beat the hell out of them,” Biden remarked.

He added: “Those who support ripping away the right to choose don’t have a clue about the power of women in America, but now I think they do.”

Biden also singled out Vice President Kamala Harris for her focus on reproductive rights, saying, “No one worked harder to get that message across America than this lady right here.”

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