After Debt Deal, King Wonders If Biden Can Make ‘Centrism’ ‘Sexy’

News & Politics

CNN’s Friday edition of Inside Politics turned into a Biden 2024 ad as host John King previewed Biden’s Oval Office address on the debt limit deal by asking his assembled panel if he could make “centrism, compromise sexy.”

To help make his point, King read from a David Ignatius article in the Washington Post, “President Biden this week accomplished what America elected him to do – govern from the center and make deals that solve problems… Biden’s critics miss the glaringly obvious fact he’s behaving precisely as he said he would.”

King then asked, “Unlike the Republicans, he doesn’t face a serious primary challenge. So, could he make centrism, compromise sexy?”

On the debt deal, the White House initially refused to negotiate with Republicans and demanded a clean debt ceiling increase while likening them to hostage takers. If Biden had his way, internal GOP dysfunction would’ve led to House Republicans getting nothing and liking it. He only negotiated because Republicans surprised him by passing an initial bill which forced him to.

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However, Axios national politics reporter Alex Thompson agreed with King and was eager to portray Biden as some ideal moderate deal maker, “I mean that’s why he’s doing this Oval Office address. You can tell that he is taking great pride in that he got this deal done. You know, during the Obama years, he always really loved being sent to Capitol Hill to, you know, cut a deal, and part of that was that he always thought that he could do this better than President Obama.”

Continuing to seek to affirm Biden’s perception of himself, Thompson added:

He thought his experience made him uniquely able to actually sort of bring the temperature down, calm the waters, you know, he always had an expression, don’t die on a small cross. Get the deal across the line which is why he sent Steve Ricchetti, down there, a long-time Capitol Hill deal maker, a former lobbyist, and you can tell this is sort of a key part of his promise that he thinks this is why he was elected at this time in history. 

When President Trump negotiated debt ceiling deals with Democrats, CNN did not portray Trumpism as a “centrist” governing philosophy that was making Washington function properly and definitely did not portray it as “sexy.”

This segment was sponsored by Lexus.

Here is a transcript for the June 2 show:

CNN Inside Politics with John King

6/2/2023

12:25 PM ET

JOHN KING: Read a line from David Ignatius today in the Washington Post: Biden delivering on his far-fetched pledge: Compromise, “President Biden this week accomplished what America elected him to do – govern from the center and make deals that solve problems… Biden’s critics miss the glaringly obvious fact he’s behaving precisely as he said he would.”

Unlike the Republicans, he doesn’t face a serious primary challenge. So, could he make centrism, compromise sexy?

ALEX THOMPSON: I mean that’s why he’s doing this Oval Office address. You can tell that he is taking great pride in that he got this deal done. You know, during the Obama years, he always really loved being sent to Capitol Hill to, you know, cut a deal, and part of that was that he always thought that he could do this better than President Obama. 

He thought his experience made him uniquely able to actually sort of bring the temperature down, calm the waters, you know, he always had an expression, don’t die on a small cross. Get the deal across the line which is why he sent Steve Ricchetti, down there, a long-time Capitol Hill deal maker, a former lobbyist, and you can tell this is sort of a key part of his promise that he thinks this is why he was elected at this time in history. 

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