On Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in an interview that to make it “easier” to vote, President Biden will continue to advocate while refusing to walk back his past comments about a new Georgia voting law that have since been fact-checked.
“Is the President going to change the way that he talks about the new Georgia voting law?” a reporter asked Psaki,
“Because in that interview that you’ve referenced, he said, ‘the law would end voting at five o’clock when working people are just getting off,’ and he said it would end voting hours early so working people can’t have their vote after their shift is over,” the reporter continued. “But The Washington Post gave that claim four Pinocchios because that part of the law gives counties the option to extend voting hours. And so I’m just curious if the President is going to change the way that he’s talking.”
The White House press secretary refused from answering the question which led to the reporter again noting that what Biden has said has been determined by election law experts to be false. “So I’m just curious if he’s going to stop saying that?” the reporter pressed.
Psaki responded as she again refused to answer the question. “Well, again, I think the fact checkers will also tell you that this bill does not make it easier for people across the state of Georgia to vote, and that’s where he has concerns.”
BOOM: Peter Doocy points out the fact that even The Washington Post found President Biden’s claims about the Georgia voting law to be factually inaccurate and asked if he’ll change how he talks about it.
Psaki denies Biden has been lying, saying he’ll continue to denounce it pic.twitter.com/eYGjkMmfEr
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 5, 2021
Psaki added that “it collapses the length of Georgia’s runoff election, making it harder for large jurisdictions to offer early voting and imposes rigid new restrictions on local officials ability to set polling hours to suit the needs of voters in their county.”
“Those are all pieces of the bill,” she said. “So his view is that we need to make it easier and not harder to vote. And that will continue to be what he advocates for.”
Psaki replied: “I think we can — the fact checkers will also tell you — that this bill does not make it easier for people across the state of Georgia to vote. And that’s where he has concerns,” after being asked again.
When questioned again if Biden can acknowledge that the Georgia law does not change Election Day voting hours, Psaki fired back again.
“It also doesn’t expand them for early voting and makes early voting shorter,” Psaki said “So there are a lot of components of the legislation he is concerned about. And that’s what he was expressing.”
Psaki maintained that there are components of the law “that make it more difficult to vote.”
Here is the interaction that Psaki had with the reporter:
REPORTER: Just to follow up on the baseball All-Star Game. I know that you made a point that he did not dictate the league, move the All-Star Game out of Georgia, but he likes to say the words of a President matter. He said he would strongly support if players in the league wanted to do that and they did it. Does he think that the PGA should move The Masters Tournament that begins this week out of Georgia?
PSAKI: I’m not here to call for anyone on behalf of the President or the Vice President or anyone to take steps and reactions to the law in Georgia. The President was asked a direct question and the context of the question was also around the league meeting to discuss this exact issue and he answered the question.
REPORTER: Then should we believe that if PGA Tour players were arriving in Augusta this week or today to register for the tournament, if they got together and decided to, or talked about not participating, that is something he would strongly support or is there a difference between the [inaudible]?
PSAKI: I’m sure you will ask me that question or him this question, but our focus is on doing what we can to advocate for making voting easier and more accessible around the country. That’s where our efforts are going to be from the White House.
REPORTER: Before the President said that he would strongly support moving the All-Star Game out of Georgia, did he consider the economic impact? Because the Cobb County Tourism CEO is saying they’re going to lose $100 million dollars in lost business activity, 8,000 hotel rooms. Did he think about that before he said he would strongly support the move?
PSAKI: Again, he was doing an interview. He was given the context, as I just read out to you in full detail of how the question was asked. He answered the question.
Georgia enacted sweeping election reform last week that required voter ID for absentee voting rather than relying on signature matching for verification, limited ballot drop boxes to one per county or one per 100,000 voters, expanded early voting days, and standardized early voting hours to a minimum of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a maximum of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The legislation barred outside groups from passing out food and water to those in line within 150 feet.
Rather than the board being chaired by the Georgia secretary of state, General Assembly is to select the chair of the state elections board. The law also handed more election authority to the GOP-controlled state legislature.