President Joe Biden lamented hyper-partisanship in Washington in his first late-night interview since taking office, saying that while he used to have a cordial relationship with Republicans, “the Big Lie … makes it awful hard.”
Biden appeared on “The Tonight Show” on Friday, telling host Jimmy Fallon that “QAnon and extreme elements of the Republican Party” and former President Donald Trump’s continued efforts to challenge the 2020 election results, are challenges to bipartisanship.
“Q-Anon and the extreme elements of the Republican Party and what, Donald Trump keeps sort of, seems to me feeding the, you know what, the big lie, it makes it awful hard,” Biden said.
“For example, one of the reasons I’m a little bit late coming on is because – not coming on, but to do the taping here, is because I did Bob Dole’s eulogy today,” the President added. “He asked me in his deathbed, whether I would do it – we were friends, we disagreed, but we were friends.”
Pressed on whether he pays attention to approval ratings, the President deadpanned, “Not anymore,” adding, “I would pay attention when they’re in the mid-60s, but now they’re in the 40s, I don’t pay attention anymore.”
“Here’s the deal. I think that it’s, we’ve been in less than a year. A lot has happened. Look, people are afraid, people are worried, and people are getting so much inaccurate information to them – I don’t mean about me, but about their situation – and so they’re, you know, they’re being told that you know, Armageddon is on the way,” Biden lamented.
Still, Biden acknowledged, “We do have inflation on things that in fact, matter to people’s lives, you know,” but pointed to encouraging trends on gas prices as a promising indicator of things to come.
He offered some rare candor on his experience living in the White House as well, admitting that he and first lady Jill Biden are “not used to people waiting on us.”
“And so, in the White House, you know, there’s somebody to make your breakfast or someone to pack your clothes, or something to carry your bag, but we now have a deal,” Biden told Fallon. “And they’re great, the guys who run the kitchen on the second floor – we don’t have them come in to do breakfast for us, because there’s no need for them to have to do breakfast for us. We can make our own eggs or pour a bowl of cereal.”
Biden also took the opportunity to take a victory lap on his administration’s bipartisan infrastructure bill, telling Fallon, “it’s going to change the quality of life for an awful lot of people around the country.”
“Well, you know, we used to be the number one, have the best infrastructure in the world – highways, bridges, the whole works,” Biden told Fallon in the pre-taped interview. “And now we rank number 13 in the world, and we just– it makes, that has a lot to do with quality of life, it has a lot to do with whether or not we’re going to be competitive.”
On his Build Back Better Bill, which faces steeper headwinds in the Senate, Biden expressed optimism that it could pass within the year.
“I hope it will, you know – I don’t have a single Republican vote right now to pass it, and so, it’s gonna be tough, but I think we can get it done. And if we don’t get it, I’m going to keep at it ‘til we get it done,” he said.