During his first presidential press conference on March 25, 2021, President Joe Biden said: “I came to the United States Senate 120 years ago.”
You can watch the video later in this article. Biden discussed a range of topics, from the immigration pressures at the southern border to voting rights to the COVID-19 vaccine. But it was his 120 years ago gaffe that gained some attention on social media.
Here’s the full transcript of Biden’s March 25 press conference.
Here’s what you need to know:
The 120 Years Comment Came in a Discussion About Filibusters
Biden’s comment on 120 years came in the midst of remarks about the filibuster. He said,
Filibuster. Filibuster. With regard to the filibuster, I believe we should go back to a position of the filibuster that existed just when I came to the United States Senate 120 years ago. And that is that it used to be required for the filibuster… And I had a card on this. I was going to give you the statistics, but you probably know them. That it used to be that from between 1917 and 1971, the filibuster existed, there were a total of 58 motions to break the filibuster, that whole time. Last year alone, there were five times that many. So it’s being abused in a gigantic way. And for example, it used to be, you had to stand there and talk and talk and talk and talk until you collapsed. And guess what? People got tired of talking and tired of collapsing. Filibusters broke down and were able to break the filibuster, get a [inaudible] vote.
A reporter asked a short time later, “Thank you, Mr. President. To follow up on the filibuster, so do you believe it should take 60 votes to end a filibuster on legislation or 51?”
If we can end with 51, we would have no problem. You’re going to have to… The existing rule… It’s going to be hard to get a parliamentary ruling that allows 50 votes to end the filibuster, the existence of a filibuster. But it’s not my expertise on what the parliamentary rules on how to get there are. But our preoccupation with the filibuster is totally legitimate. But in the meantime, we got a lot we can do while we’re talking about what we’re going to do with about the filibuster. Let me get here. Okay.
It wasn’t the only Biden stumble to go viral from the press conference:
Biden Opened the Press Conference With a ‘Progress Report’
Biden started the press conference with a progress report.
“Please, please sit down. Thank you. Thank you. Good afternoon. Before I take questions, I want to give you a progress report to the nation on where we stand 65 days into office here on vaccinations and a few other top priorities for the American people,” Biden said.
“First on vaccinations. On December 8th, I indicated that I hoped to get 100 million shots in people’s arms in my first 100 days. We met that goal last week by day 58, 42 days ahead of schedule. Now, today I’m setting a second goal and that is, we will, by my 100th day in office, have administered 200 million shots in people’s arms. That’s right, 200 million shots in 100 days. I know it’s ambitious, twice our original goal, but no other country in the world has even come close, not even close to what we are doing. And I believe we can do it.”