June 15, 2021 9:45:21 am
US President Joe Biden views the Republican Party as vastly diminished in numbers even as it remains in lockstep with the man he defeated, former President Donald Trump.
“The leadership of the Republican Party is fractured and the Trump wing of the party is the bulk of the party, but it makes up a significant minority of the American people,” Biden told a news conference in Brussels after a NATO summit.
“I think it’s appropriate to say that the Republican Party is vastly diminished in numbers,” Biden, a Democrat, said without offering support for the claim.
A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll in April showed 36% of Americans identifying as Republican-leaning, compared with 42% for Democrats, roughly the same as a year ago.
Democrats narrowly control both houses of Congress, and 23 US states have Democratic governors, compared to 27 led by Republicans.
Spokespeople for the White House and the national Republican Party did not immediately respond to requests for clarity or comment.A majority, some 53%, of Republicans believe Trump won the 2020 U.S. presidential election and blame his loss to Biden on illegal voting, and one quarter of the overall public agreed that Trump won, the poll found.
Biden has sought in Europe to counter China and Russia by shoring up traditional international alliances that frayed under Trump. International leaders, he said, understand that “we’re a decent, honorable nation.”
His comments about Republicans aside, Biden hopes to salvage a deal with his opposition party on infrastructure spending. He believes doing so may hold the key to his party retaining its weak grasp on legislative power.
“The agenda, whether it’s dealing with the vaccine, the economy, infrastructure. It’s important that we demonstrate we can make progress,” Biden said.
Democrats hold a narrow majority in the House and 50 votes in the 100-seat Senate, where ties are broken by Biden’s vice president Kamala Harris.
A number of congressional elections will be held in November 2022.
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