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Biden claims 'enormous progress' has been made during his first year, says the country is more unified than when he entered office but 'not nearly unified as it should be'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

During a press conference on Wednesday just ahead of the one-year anniversary of his administration, President Joe Biden, who has been facing poor job approval polls for some time, claimed that he did not overpromise on what he could deliver during his first year in office and that "enormous progress" has been made.

But Biden said that he has not been able to get Republicans involved in "making things better" in the U.S. "I did not anticipate ... such a stalwart effort to make sure that the most important thing was that President Biden didn't get anything done," the president said. "What are they for?" Biden said of Republicans. "Name me one thing they're for."

When asked whether the nation is more unified now than when he entered office, Biden said "yes, but it's not nearly unified as it should be."

Peter Doocy of Fox News asked the president why he is "tryin' so hard" during his "first year to pull the country so far to the left?"

"Well, I'm not," Biden said, later describing himself as a "mainstream Democrat."

The president heads into his one-year anniversary as the COVID-19 pandemic persists and the consequences of high inflation hit Americans in the wallet. Biden also closes out the year having failed to convince certain members of his own party to help pass some of his legislative priorities.

The massive Build Back Better spending plan, which Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) said last month that he could not support, seems to have stalled, but Biden said on Wednesday that he believes portions of the plan can be passed before the midterm elections. The president also continued to claim that the proposal would help alleviate the rising prices Americans have been facing.

Senate Democrats also appear poised to fail in their push to pass so called "voting rights" legislation, as Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have indicated that they will not support changing the filibuster rules, a move that other Democrats have been advocating in order to ram the legislation through.

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