Durbin says Biden may have gone ‘a little too far’ in Georgia speech

Source: The Hill | January 12, 2022 | Caroline Vakil

Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said Wednesday that President Biden may have gone “a little too far” with his rhetoric during a speech in Georgia the previous day advocating voting rights legislation.

During his speech, Biden called for the Senate to pass several pieces of legislation, including the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, while endorsing changes to the Senate filibuster in order to advance the bills.

The president put pressure on lawmakers who have opposed making changes to the Senate rules, suggesting they had a choice to side either with advocates for voting rights or historical figures who backed segregation and the Confederacy.

“Do you want to be … on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?” Biden said in Georgia.

“It is stark, and I will concede that point,” Durbin said during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday after the host noted the comparison made by Biden.

Still, the Senate majority whip argued that “there are parallels there” in what Biden had referenced, arguing Republicans have tried to make it harder for Americans to vote and suggesting a parallel with past historical attempts to keep Black Americans from voting.

“Perhaps the president went a little too far in his rhetoric. Some of us do, but the fundamental principles and values at stake are very, very similar,” Durbin said.


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