The White House has yet to schedule a post-midterm news conference before President Joe Biden’s scheduled departure for a weeklong trip abroad, potentially ending a decades-long tradition honored by both Democratic and Republican administrations.
Democrats are expected to suffer heavy losses in the House when votes are counted on Tuesday, but the Senate remains a toss-up. A final election forecast pegged 49 races as solidly Republican and 47 as solidly Democratic, with four races too close to call.
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Biden spent Election Day working the phones with top Democratic brass, calling with senior Democratic National Committee adviser and former White House aide Cedric Richmond, DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison, Democratic Governors Association Chairman Roy Cooper, DCCC Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney, and DSCC Chairman Gary Peters, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). The White House announced an official lid on Tuesday at 11:25 a.m. ET.
When asked by the Washington Examiner On Tuesday about a potential press conference on Wednesday, White House officials repeated past statements, promising that “you will hear from the president before he goes abroad.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined during Monday’s press briefing to outline what the president’s Wednesday will look like.
“I was very clear, you hear from the president. He always enjoys taking your questions. So, you know, he will – I’m sure he will take your questions as well. I just don’t get ahead,” she said in an exchange . “I’m just not going to say what his day will look like on Wednesday specifically. But again, he’s going to address the American people, and I think that’s important. He’s going to be clear about what’s on his mind, and I’m just going to do not proceed from here.”
All but one of Biden’s six immediate White House predecessors held a press conference the day after the midterm elections during their first term in office. Former President George HW Bush chose to forgo the questions after the 1990 election because of the recently launched first Gulf War.
Biden is scheduled to leave overnight Thursday for Egypt, where he will attend COP 27, the UN climate change conference. From Egypt, he will travel to Cambodia, where he will attend the 2022 ASEAN and East Asia Summit, then Indonesia for the G-20 Summit in Bali before returning to Washington on Nov.17.
The president spent Monday night hosting DNC officials in two virtual receptions and campaigning in Prince George’s County, Maryland, a district he won with 89% of the vote in the 2020 election.
“You know, one more night, probably another 30 hours across the country between now and where we are until the last vote is cast. One more night to do everything we can to win it and keep it going. See if we can to hold, we will be in incredible shape. Imagine what we can do in a second term if we keep control. I know that sounds like a very high expectation, but I think – in any case, I am optimistic .” he said during one of the virtual DNC events. “I want to remind you to remind your teams, with so much at stake for our nation, leave no stone unturned – put it all out there. Go full bore until the last poll closes. Make that extra call – no joke Knock on the extra Door. Above all, keep the faith. Remind people that the power is in their hands.”
While Biden traveled heavily in the final weeks and months of the campaign, waring voters against the threats to democracy posed by “mega MAGA” Republicans, he avoided more than half of all battleground states. visit, including Arizona, Georgia or Nevada.
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Biden has visited Pennsylvania five times since August to support Democratic senatorial nominee John Fetterman, who went neck-and-neck on Election Day with Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz.