President Joe Biden told Jimmy Fallon that the Republican Party is preventing his “Build Back Better” agenda from being passed.
Speaking via video conference on “The Tonight Show,” Fallon asked Biden whether his $2 trillion social spending package would pass the Senate.
“Well, I hope it will, though you know I don’t have a single Republican vote right now to pass it, so it’s gonna be tough” Biden said, prompting a grimace from Fallon. “But I think we can get it done, and if we don’t, I’m gonna keep at it until we get it done.”
Fallon then remarked that he saw Republican and Democratic politicians in the crowd at an event at the Kennedy Center recently. “Everyone was laughing at jokes and listening to great music — everyone seemed cordial and nice, and I go, ‘This seems like this should be much easier to get along with everybody,’” he said.
Biden blamed former President Donald Trump, saying that his influence on the Republican Party has made it tougher for Republicans and Democrats to get along.
“The Trump arm of the Republican Party — which seems to be the Republican Party now — did not even show up at the Kennedy Center. They wouldn’t go to the awards,” he said.
“So all the people you have — we saw at that event, which was a very fulsome event — were people who, in fact, are Republicans, but they’re the kind of — like, for example, a lot of Republicans and Democrats used to get really on well together.”
Biden then further illustrated his point, telling Fallon that one of the reasons he was late for the taping of the interview was because he was asked to read the eulogy for the late U.S. Senator Bob Dole.
“We were friends. We disagreed, but we were friends,” Biden said of the late senator and presidential candidate.
Biden then charged Trump with fomenting the division in the country with his claims of election fraud and his supposed connection to the “QAnon” conspiracy theory.
“We used to have an awful lot of that relationship, and there still exists, except that the QAnon and the extreme elements of the Republican Party and what Donald Trump keeps sort of — seems to me, feeding the, with the big lie, it makes it awful hard. And there’s an awful lot of Republicans in Congress that I think would agree with that.”
Fallon then noted that he gave Biden a standing ovation when he came onto the show.
“We gave you a standing ovation, because I go, ‘Here he is, he’s bringing class back. He’s a classy guy.’ You’re bringing class back to the office, and I thought it was amazing that you did that,” Fallon said.
The president blamed Republicans for the divisions, but Biden, who campaigned on healing the nation’s divisions, has made his share of divisive remarks. In announcing his plan to implement a vaccine mandate for private companies, Biden said “our patience is wearing thin” with unvaccinated Americans. Later in the interview, Biden also described voter integrity efforts in approximately 30 states as “un-American” and “about trying to prevent people from voting, rather then allow[ing] them to vote.”