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The speaker says he has 'a bigger mandate than John F. Kennedy'
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) insisted several times Friday that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has a "mandate" to carry out their party's agenda, referring to Biden as "president-elect" despite the fact that no winner has been declared in the close race between him and President Donald Trump.
What are the details?
In greeting reporters for her daily press briefing, Pelosi declared, "I wish we weren't wearing masks so we could see how exciting it is to come before you today with Joe Biden having the tremendous mandate that he has."
"This morning it is clear, that the Biden-Harris ticket will win the White House," she went on to say. "President-elect Biden has a strong mandate to lead."
Toward the end of her presser, the speaker added, "I think Joe Biden has a big mandate, a bigger mandate than John F. Kennedy when I was in school."
Pelosi pointed to that the fact that Biden received a record number of votes in the election as evidence that the American people have spoken for the Democratic agenda, but dismissed the fact that Democrats lost House seats while Republicans appear to have maintained control of the Senate.
But not everyone was convinced by Pelosi's claims.
GOP Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.) told The Hill that the results from the general election show that the speaker will be forced to "give some ground" on the next coronavirus relief package.
"The vast majority of her members also think she has to give some ground here," Blunt said. "The liberal agenda was rejected by voters."
He added, "There was no mandate in this election."
Pundits also pushed back on Pelosi's "mandate" talk.
Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly tweeted, "Pelosi says Biden has a 'huge mandate.' Really? Dems lost seats when supposed to gain them in her chamber, d/n/gain control of Senate, saw DT win more votes than ever with minority groups, & did not see the promised Blue Wave. Truth will prevail in Jan. when gridlock settles in."
The Hill's Joe Concha wrote, "Pelosi saying Biden owns a 'huge mandate' after razor-thin margins in 7 battleground states is peak 2020..."
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley reacted similarly, tweeting, "Nancy Pelosi just called the election 'a huge mandate' for Joe Biden. That is a rather curious statement given our ongoing monitoring of razor thin margins as well as the loss of seats in the House and the apparent failure to retake the Senate (despite record Democratic spending)."
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