Biden: Republican obstructionism worse now than during Obama administration

Responding to a question from Yahoo News’ Alexander Nazaryan at a press conference on Wednesday, President Biden said Republican obstructionism has been much worse under his administration compared to when he was Barack Obama’s vice president.

Video Transcript

ALEXANDER NAZARYAN: You said you were surprised by Republican obstruction of your agenda. But didn't the GOP take exactly the same tactic when you were vice president to Barack Obama? So why did you think they would treat you any differently than they treated him?

JOE BIDEN: First of all, they weren't nearly as obstructionist as they are now. Number one. They stated that. But you had a number of Republicans we worked with closely, from John McCain-- I mean, a number of Republicans we worked closely with, even, back in those days, Lindsey Graham. And so the difference here is there seems to be a desire to [INAUDIBLE] and I didn't say my agenda, I'm saying what are they for.

What is their agenda? They had an agenda back in the administration when-- the eight years we were president and vice president, but I don't know what their agenda is now. What is it? The American public is outraged about the tax structure we have in America. What are they proposing to do about it? Anything? Have you heard anything? I mean anything. I haven't heard anything.

The American public is outraged about the fact that we're-- the-- the state of the environment. The vast majority of the public. What have they done? [INAUDIBLE] do anything to ameliorate the climate change that's occurring, other than to deny it exists.

So what I'm saying is the difference between then and now is not only the announcement that was made, anything to stop Barack Obama. I get that part. But what eventually happened? We were able to get some things done. We were able to work through some things. On the stuff that was really consequential in terms of ideologically divisive, it was a real fight.

But so-- but I don't think there's a time when I-- I mean, I wonder, what would be the Republican platform right now? What do you think? What do you think their position on taxes are? What do you think your position on-- on human rights is? What do you think their position is on whether or not we should-- what we should do with the cost of prescription drugs? What do you think?

I mean, I just-- I honest to god don't know what they're for, yet I know a lot of these senators and congressmen, and I know they do have things they want to support, whether they're things I want or not. But you don't hear much about that. And every once in a while, when you hear something where there's a consensus, it's an important but a small item, and it doesn't get much coverage at all where it occurs. I'm not meaning coverage. I mean there's not much discussion about it.

So I just think it's a different-- and I don't know that-- no matter how strongly one supports as a Republican and/or supports the president-- the former president of the United States, I don't know how we can't look at what happened on January 6 and think that's a problem. That's a real problem.