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Biden rebuffs claim that Virginia’s gubernatorial race was a referendum on his presidency

By Colleen Long and Aamer Madani | The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Wednesday that Democrats’ setbacks in Tuesday’s election underscore what the party needs to “produce for the American people,” but pushed back against the notion that the off-year The election results were a denial of his presidency.

Biden suggested Congress’s inability to pass a $1 trillion infrastructure deal and a $1.75 trillion package of social and climate programs before the vote didn’t matter.

Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia governor’s race lost to Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin for the first time in a state that Biden had won by 10 percentage points a year earlier.

“I think we should have passed it before election day,” Biden said. “But I’m not sure I would have been able to change the minds of people in Republican-leaning areas in any way.” He said that “people are upset and uncertain about many things” including the pandemic, the job market and the price of a gallon of petrol.

Biden remarked to reporters after making what he said was a “great day” in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic as children ages 5 to 11 became eligible to receive the preventive vaccine.

It was good news for Biden, who returned to Washington early Wednesday from Europe, to the news that McAuliffe had been defeated by Youngkin, a first-time candidate and former executive of private equity firm Carlyle Group. and Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy won an unexpectedly close race in New Jersey, a state Biden won by 16 percentage points.

White House officials noted that Virginia has tended Democratic in recent years, while the incumbent president’s party has lost the gubernatorial race in 11 of 12 elections there.

Before leaving Glasgow on Tuesday, Biden made the case that “the off year is always unpredictable” and that he saw no evidence that “whether or not my agenda passed, there was any real reason to win or lose both the gubernatorial race.” going to have an effect”.

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