Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden appeared to break from former President Barack Obama on whether or not the Senate needs to eliminate the filibuster, only to immediately backtrack when pressed on the issue.
In an interview with the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists, CBS News national correspondent Errol Barnett asked Biden if he agreed with Obama regarding ending the filibuster to bolster the Voting Rights Act.
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“I don’t think we have to. We’re going to be able to do that anyway,” Biden said.
The former vice president said he expects Democrats to elect five or six new senators. When Barnett said that would not be enough to get a supermajority needed to pass new voting rights legislation, Biden confidently disagreed.
“That’s your judgment. I’m pretty good at this,” Biden said, referencing his experience in the Senate. He said that with President Trump gone, more Republicans will be willing to “vote their conscience” without fear of retribution, which could provide the required number of votes.
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“I just don’t believe you’re going to have this kind of resistance before – that we had before.”
Barnett then pressed Biden on whether he does in fact disagree with Obama about the necessity of getting rid of the filibuster, noting that Obama said it was a relic of Jim Crow. Biden immediately backtracked.
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“What I said was if, in fact, they are as obstreperous as is expected we’d have to get rid of the filibuster. But the filibuster has also saved a lot of bad things from happening too,” Biden said. “Oh yeah, no no, I’m sorry, I thought – I’m on record as saying that if the Republicans – if there’s no way to move other than getting rid of the filibuster, that’s what we’ll do.”