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In an exclusive interview a day after the 2023 State of the Union address, President Joe Biden said that unless Republicans “break their word, there’s going to be no cuts in Medicare or Social Security,” and argued for bipartisanship to accomplish more for the American people.
WATCH: ‘We all apparently agree’ on saving Medicare and Social Security, Biden teases during State of the Union
Talking with PBS NewsHour special correspondent Judy Woodruff on Wednesday, Biden referred to an animated exchange during his address when he said that some congressional Republicans had proposed cuts to the American social safety net, drawing yells of “No!”
“So guess what?” Biden told Woodruff, “We accomplished something.”
The interview is part of Woodruff’s new special reporting series, “America at a Crossroads,” which will examine American divisions and explore what might help reunite the nation. The former NewsHour anchor and managing editor asked Biden why he thinks the country is so divided politically. He spoke to Woodruff from DeForest, Wisconsin, at a Laborers’ International Union of North America training center.
“Most Americans are of the view that [politics have] just gotten too mean; it’s gotten too personal, gotten too divisive,” he added. “And I think one of the messages they sent this last election was: ‘Come on. Work together. Get something done for us.’”
Biden said he still anticipates contention with some Republicans, specifically those who have stuck by former President Donald Trump, to whom he attributed much of the nation’s division — though he never mentioned the former president by name.
“There was a deliberate effort by the last guy to play on people’s fears and to appeal to base instincts,” Biden said.
Here are some other key takeaways from Woodruff’s interview with Biden:
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