White House: Biden stands by Georgia ‘Jim Crow 2.0’ after Democratic runoff win

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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Susan Walsh/AP

White House: Biden stands by Georgia ‘Jim Crow 2.0’ after Democratic runoff win

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The White House is standing by President Joe Biden‘s condemnation of Georgia‘s voting and election reforms as “Jim Crow 2.0,” despite record turnout in the state’s Senate runoff that cemented Democratic control of the chamber.

“I’m not going to get into the specifics of your question,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Wednesday when asked about Biden’s assessment.

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Instead, one day after Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) defeated former NFL player Herschel Walker (R-GA) to become Georgia’s first full-term black senator and the first black Democrat elected by a Confederacy state, Jean-Pierre referred to reported incidents of suppression without providing details.

“That was reported on, so I leave it to those reports,” she said.

Jean-Pierre similarly declined to comment on the Justice Department‘s investigation of Georgia’s Election Integrity Act of 2021, but attributed Warnock’s successive wins to “the success” Biden has had with his legislative priorities and what Democrats have “been able to do,” creating a “sharp” contrast with Republicans.

“It was a stunningly bad cycle for Republican senators and a lot of that is because of their agenda, is because they embodied the ultra-MAGA ideas,” she said.

Roughly 1.4 million Georgians voted on Election Day, “the most in-person voting we’ve had since the launch of the new system,” according to Gabriel Sterling, COO of Georgia secretary of state’s office. Another 1.9 million Georgians voted early or cast an absentee ballot, more than a quarter of registered voters.

“We have record turnout across the board,” Sterling told reporters. “We had record turnout for a runoff in a midterm. We had record turnout for early voting. We had a record use of absentee ballots.”

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Jean-Pierre was also asked last month whether Biden continued to denounce Georgia’s election and voting laws given the state’s primary turnout.

“The president has been very clear that based on the Big Lie, there have been a host of anti-voter policies forced on states that challenge America’s fundamental right to vote — right? — the access to voting,” she said at the same time. “More broadly, of course, high turnout and voter suppression can take place at the same time. One doesn’t have to happen on its own.”

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