White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday defended President Joe Biden’s statements on the leaked draft Supreme Court opinion that would strike down Roe v. Wade – and said the White House doesn’t have a ‘particular view’ on the leak itself.
Since Politico reported on the leaked draft Monday night, Biden has focused his public remarks on privacy rights, the risks that gay marriage and other rights could be in jeopardy, and even his own clashes with Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork decades ago.
In his initial comments while traveling to Alabama Tuesday, Biden also used the word ‘child’ while describing abortion rights.
‘So I mean, the idea that we’re going to make a judgment that is going to say that no one can make the judgment to choose to abort a child, based on a decision by the Supreme Court, I think goes way overboard,’ Biden said.
Psaki got asked about the comment Wednesday, which ran against the typical word selection of pro choice advocates.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended President Joe Biden’s comments since the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion that would strike down Roe v. Wade
‘The President’s view on a woman’s right to make choices about her own health care is well known, well documented, well stated,’ said Psaki. Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy pressed her, emphasizing Biden’s use of the word ‘child.’
‘I understand Peter. But what I’m telling you is is what his position is,’ she responded.
She also got asked why Biden ‘isn’t he speaking more directly about how it impacts women, poor women, women of color. How comfortable is he talking about this?’
‘He has. He did yesterday both in his written statement and when he addressed this publicly.’
‘This brings into question our fundamental rights and the fundamental rights of people across this country, and who they marry, what choices they make about their own healthcare. And that goes to his own experience fighting against, again, Robert Bork in in his nomination many years ago,’ she said.
‘When he talks about … his commitment to protecting a woman’s right to choose women’s health care, he’s referring to protecting woman’s right to have an abortion. I think most people know that,’ she said.
‘This is about a lot more than abortion,’ Biden said Wednesday
‘The idea that we’re going to make a judgment that is going to say that no one can make the judgment to choose to abort a child, based on a decision by the Supreme Court, I think goes way overboard,’ Biden said Tuesday
‘I’m just not going to get into specific outcomes of the primary,’ Psaki said, asked about Trump-backed J.D. Vance’s win in the Ohio GOP primary
Biden on Wednesday called MAGA ‘the most extreme political organization in American history.’ Vance’s win was another demonstration of Trump’s grip on the GOP
Psaki also responded to a question by DailyMail.com about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.)’ fiery comment at the Supreme Court Tuesday that she was ‘angry.’ Vice President Kamala Harris issued her own defiant statement to the Court, saying: ‘How dare they tell a woman what she can do with her body.’
Asked if Biden was angry about the draft opinion, Psaki responded: ‘I think you heard anger in his voice yesterday.’
The pushback on abortion came as Biden tore into MAGA as an ‘extremist’ movement in earlier comments at the White House Wednesday. He called it ‘the most extreme political organization in American history.’
Psaki indicated that Biden would continue to draw contrasts in the days ahead.
‘Don’t compare me to the Almighty compare me to the alternative,’ she said, hauling out a Biden campaign mantra.
‘And I would expect you will hear him with that mantra much more out there over the next coming months.’
She checked her own comments at times due to potential Hatch Act limitations on political comments, but flagged Biden’s own remarks.
He ‘made comments over the last several days about the direction of some in the Republican Party, the MAGA direction of some in the Republican Party, and he’s been struck by the hold his predecessor seems to have on far too many members. Not all, but far too many members of the party,’ she said.
‘And what we’re seeing, the latest antics are made clear, that they are at war with Mickey Mouse, they’re against allowing women to make choices about their own health care, against lowering the cost of prescription drugs. And if that remains their platform, the President’s view is that is out of whack with the mainstream of the country.’
She was referring to the new Florida law pushed through by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida GOP taking away Disney’s federal tax status following its opposition to a bill critics call ‘don’t say gay.’
Psaki, though, did not say that Biden tore into MAGA for reasons related to the victory of Trump-backed candidate J.D. Vance in the Ohio GOP primary Tuesday night.
‘He has been struck by the hold his predecessor seems to have on far too many members of the party,’ she told DailyMail.com when asked for his reaction to the result. ‘But he’s still going to call out where he sees extremist actions and extremist rhetoric, and I’m just not going to get into specific outcomes of the primary.’
Biden travels to Cincinnati on Friday – the same city where Vance held his victory party.
Psaki also dodged questions about the leak itself and a leak hunt that Chief Justice John Roberts has announced. She said it was up to the Justice Department whether the administration would assist in any way.
Asked if Biden ‘condemned’ the leak, Psaki said: ‘I don’t think we have a particular view on that other than to say that we certainly know the unprecedented nature of it.’
‘Obviously it’s up to the Department of Justice to determine what if any action they will take,’ she said.
‘Our focus is on not losing sight from what the content is in the draft on and what is at risk here,’ she said.