THE WHITE HOUSE – Historic voter turnout has all but concluded and the races are, for the most part, called. As reported by the Associated Press as of 12:00 noon on Wednesday November 7th the Democrats hold the majority in the House at 220 representatives with 22 seats left to call and the Republicans maintained their majority in the Senate, growing it’s hold to a 52 seat majority with 4 seats lefts to call. The President tweeted the announcement of his press conference.
I will be doing a news conference at The White House – 11:30 A.M. Will be discussing our success in the Midterms!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2018
The President and Vice President Pence enter the east room together to a full house. “It was a big day yesterday…” he starts, pointing to the success of the Republican candidates against record fundraising on the part of the Democrats and the rate of retiring seats. The President then denounces the “blue wave” dismissing its effect as minimal to negligible, continuing to praise his Senate seat wins as historic. He also credits some flipped and purple states like Indiana, North Dakota, Florida and Missouri and their respective Representatives and Governors for boosting White House party numbers in the House.
“Candidates who embraced our message of low taxes, low regulation, low crime and strong borders and great judges excelled last night, they excelled,” says the president, naming Andy Barr of Kentucky, Pete Stauber and others as winners before alluding to some candidates who lost like Erik Paulsen about whom he said “It’s too bad [they didn’t align more closely with him].”
The GOP and the President are looking to make peace with the Democrats. He names issues like pre-existing conditions, drug prices and others as areas to reach legislative common ground. Further that he spoke with soon-to-be Speaker Nancy Pelosi in cordiality referencing her words like ‘united’ and ‘bipartisanship’ and that she “deserves that position…[and] we can work together to get a lot done.” Saying that now he sees an “easier path [to legislation].” He then asks the Democrats to “come to [the Republicans] with a plan for infrastructure or whatever…let me see what [bills] you have.” He says, “[the new balance of power] could be a beautiful bipartisan situation.”
The President ends his speech calling for unity and bipartisanship, praising his administration’s wins on the economy and military, as well as the successes internationally like North Korea and environmental protections before taking questions.
The questions varied and had almost nothing to do with the winning and losing candidates but rather how the administration plans to act moving forward with a Democratic House in regards to all things including the Mueller investigation, the caravan, birthright citizenship and even the disappearing tax returns. “I could end it right now and say that investigation is over…,” he says of the Mueller investigation, “but I don’t want to do that… I let it go on.” As the questions became more specific and confrontational, as happens often with this President, he took charge asking reporters to sit down, wait their turn, and took control of some questions by not answering them at all, particularly when the reporter asked 3 and 4 part questions. At some points denouncing a question he found to be racist from a PBS NewsHour reporter who asked about why he calls himself a nationalist and seemingly moved towards his security to assist in removing the microphone from CNN reporter, Jim Acosta, who forcefully refused to return the mic back from one of the White House assistants.
Cordelia Lynch of Sky News essentially asked the question on everybody’s mind. “Last night was not an absolute victory…,” she starts. “I’ll be honest with you,” the president interrupts. “I think it was almost a complete victory. When you look at it from the standpoint of negotiation when you look at it from the standpoint of deal making because it’s all about deal making. If we had the majority we would have been at a standstill. I really believe we have a chance to get along really with the Democrats and if that’s the case we can do a tremendous amount of legislation and get it approved by both parties.”
It’s a reality for which we can all hope, but one that we all must work together to make a possibility.
Watch the whole press conference here.