President Joe Biden is keeping his distance from Sen. Raphael Warnock‘s (D-GA) Georgia Senate runoff race as Democrats seek to expand their majority in the chamber.

But Biden’s distance underscores a contradiction between his words and actions as he attributes his performance and agenda as president, in part, to Democrats holding on to the Senate and limiting Republican gains in the House.

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After Democrats in competitive midterm elections dissociated from Biden amid poor approval ratings and a sputtering economy, the president continues to be a proverbial albatross around Warnock’s neck, according to University of Georgia politics professor Charles Bullock.

“Republicans blame Biden for inflation, out-of-control immigration, rampant crime, and high taxes that will crush Georgia’s middle class,” Bullock told the Washington Examiner. “Since, according to GOP ads, Warnock votes with Biden 96% of the time, the senator is an accomplice. The last thing that Warnock wants is to be seen standing beside Biden, which would reinforce the GOP ads that claim Biden and Warnock are working in unison.”

Instead, Warnock, who has a 4 percentage point lead on former NFL player Herschel Walker in at least one post-general election poll, is investing in advertisements that portray him as a potential partner for Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA). Kemp dispatched Stacey Abrams (D-GA) in what was a 2018 rematch 53% to 46%, or by almost 300,000 votes.

Warnock’s strategy is a response to the roughly 200,000 voters who cast their ballot for Kemp and the senator in the general election, disadvantaging Walker. Warnock notched a 38,000-vote margin of victory, but with 49% support to Walker’s 48%, he fell short of the 50% threshold needed to avoid a Dec. 6 runoff. Kemp, in turn, is now attempting to help Walker after separating himself from him following allegations he paid women to undergo abortions.

“Warnock is distancing himself from Biden to the extent that he is pitching himself as a moderate who works with Republicans in the Senate,” Bullock added. “He has pointed to legislation on which he has collaborated with [Sens.] Ted Cruz (R-TX), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL). The only national Democrat that Warnock will welcome is Barack Obama.”

Rather than Biden, former President Barack Obama revealed this week he will return to Georgia for Warnock on Dec. 1 after hosting a rally for him in Atlanta last month. During that event, Obama contended being a retired football player would not have automatically disqualified Walker from being a senator had he “put in the work.”

“But in the case of Rev. Warnock’s opponent, there is very little evidence that he has taken any interest, bothered to learn anything about, or displayed any kind of inclination towards public service or volunteer work or helping people in any way,” he said at the time. “Seems to me he’s a celebrity who wants to be a politician, and we’ve seen how that goes.”

Repeatedly citing the Hatch Act, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has sought to downplay speculation Biden will travel to Georgia before Warnock’s runoff. Although Warnock’s race will no longer decide the Senate’s balance of power, it could affect Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema‘s (D-AZ) influence in the chamber, a factor Republicans are amplifying.

“The president wants to be as helpful as he can to Sen. Warnock, and I will leave it there,” Jean-Pierre said during an Air Force One gaggle en route to Bali, Indonesia. “[I] don’t have anything to announce as far as any trip or plans to travel to Georgia.”

Back in the United States, Jean-Pierre has not briefed reporters on a possible trip to Georgia, preferring to underline “significant” Democratic National Committee spending on Warnock’s contest.

“I actually have not — I have not heard of a request,” she said this week. “I just don’t have anything to share on that.”

Vice President Kamala Harris has also been asked whether she will travel to Georgia, but she told reporters in the Philippines she has not “made any decision yet.”

“I’m basically still trying to figure out what I’m doing tomorrow in terms of plans,” she said this week, laughing.

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The National Republican Senatorial Committee published a memo with the Republican National Committee and Georgia’s Republican Party this week that points to the 400 staff members and more than 85,000 volunteers they have in the state with the aim of mobilizing voters, funded partly by Walker raising $7 million in two days.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee circulated a memo earlier that focused on Warnock’s runoff experience and his outperforming of Biden in urban and suburban counties after his team had conversations with more than 3.4 million people at their doors or on the telephone. The DSCC had already announced a $7 million field organizing program.

President Joe Biden is spending Thanksgiving weekend “celebrating” with loved ones, he said Saturday, ignoring shouted questions from reporters about the status of holiday discussions about his potential 2024 re-election bid.

The 46th president told reporters after the midterm elections that it was his intention to seek a second term and he planned to discuss the matter with family over the holidays. The Biden clan is celebrating Thanksgiving in Nantucket, Massachusetts, at the home of David Rubenstein, the billionaire businessman and philanthropist who founded The Carlyle Group. The family has had a tradition of spending the holiday on the upscale island since the 1970s.

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Asked how re-election talks were going while walking with First Lady Jill Biden on Nantucket’s Main Street Saturday, the president replied: “We’re not having any, we’re celebrating.”

Biden was later asked by the Daily Mail if he had made a decision about running for re-election, to which he responded: “Not yet.”

Joining the first couple for the holiday weekend are Ashley and Hunter Biden, along with his wife Melissa Cohen Biden and their 2-year-old son Beau.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was similarly tight-lipped when asked during a briefing Tuesday if the Biden family would be discussing 2024 plans over Thanksgiving, responding that, “He’s going to have a private conversation with his family. I am certainly not going to lay out what that conversation could look like or potentially be.”

While speaking at a press conference after Democrats dodged a “red wave” in the midterms, Biden said: “My intention is that I run again, but I’m a great respecter of fate. And this is, ultimately, a family decision. I think everybody wants me to run, but … we’re going to have discussions about it. And I don’t feel any hurry one way or another to make that judgment today, tomorrow, whenever, no matter what my predecessor does.”

The 46th president added that he expected to make a final decision on running “early next year.”

Biden is the country’s oldest-ever president, becoming the first-ever octogenarian commander-in-chief last Sunday.

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Democrats and Republicans alike have raised concerns for years about Biden’s age, and even following Democrats’ surprise performance in November’s midterms, a majority of voters have expressed a desire for new candidates atop the tickets for both parties. Still, the president has the wind at his back due to the midterm results, making any concerns he could have felt about dragging down his party while seeking a second term moot.

The timing of former President Donald Trump’s 2024 White House campaign launch, coming just days after Republicans’ disappointing midterms performance, also caused pundits on both sides of the aisle to label him as a weakened candidate. Some observers have noted, however, that Trump would have further diminished his political standing by delaying his campaign launch.

The White House released the Thanksgiving menu enjoyed by President Joe Biden on Thursday, who spent the holiday at a compound in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

The president and his immediate family, including first lady Jill Biden, son Hunter Biden, and daughter Ashley Biden, were treated to a thyme-roasted turkey, with sherry gravy, classic stuffing, cranberry relish, sweet potatoes, shrimp cocktails, seared scallops, and roasted root vegetables, according to the White House.

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Hunter Biden’s wife Melissa and Biden’s grandson Beau Biden were also in attendance.

“This Thanksgiving, as homes across America fill with laughter, favorite family foods, and the joy of friends and relatives reuniting, we give thanks for everything that is good in our lives and reflect on the many blessings of our Nation,” Biden said in a Thanksgiving day proclamation. “We are grateful for our family and friends and for all of our fellow Americans, even those whom we may never meet but rely upon nonetheless.”

The Bidens also enjoyed pumpkin, apple, and coconut cream pies, and the president’s favorite ice cream: chocolate chip. The two turkeys pardoned by Biden earlier this week were aptly named Chocolate and Chip, after the ice cream flavor.

The president spent the rest of the holiday talking to military service members, delivering pies to a local fire department, and calling into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“I want to say thanks to the firefighters, the police officers, first responders. They never take a break,” Biden said during the call.

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The holiday marked the end of a busy week at the White House as it officially transitions into the Christmas season. The White House Christmas tree was delivered Monday and received by Jill Biden. The 18-foot-tall Concolor fir was grown on a farm in Pennsylvania and will be placed in the Blue Room of the White House.

A poll released just ahead of Thanksgiving shows voters favoring Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) over former President Donald Trump as the pair careen toward a possible 2024 presidential showdown.

Trump became the first top-tier candidate to announce his 2024 candidacy on Nov. 15, but DeSantis has seen a major popularity surge since his landslide reelection victory on Nov. 8.

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A YouGov national poll published Wednesday showed DeSantis earning much higher approval ratings than Trump among all voters and independents. DeSantis has a net positive favorable rating overall among those polled, whereas Trump’s approval rating is underwater.

YouGov’s poll surveyed 1,500 people through online solicitation between Nov. 19-22. The findings have a 3-point margin of error.

Meanwhile, a Quinnipiac University poll published Monday showed 6 in 10 people viewing Trump’s latest campaign as a “bad thing.” Furthermore, 43% of respondents said they preferred DeSantis win the Republican nomination over Trump, while Republicans are evenly split at 44% on supporting either candidate in 2024.

DeSantis has also outpaced Trump in a number of key early voting states, according to data collected by WPA Intelligence and Club for Growth.

In Iowa, DeSantis leads Trump by 11 points, a complete 180 compared to findings published in August. DeSantis also leads Trump in a primary matchup 52-37 in New Hampshire, 55-35 in Georgia, and 56-30 in Florida.

With Trump being the only GOP candidate to declare a 2024 bid so far, he remains the odds-on favorite to secure the Republican presidential nomination. Trump has consistently done well in polling of just GOP voters in a possible head-to-head matchup, but DeSantis has made strides.

A Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey on Monday showed Trump maintaining a double-digit lead over DeSantis in a hypothetical primary, but DeSantis had shortened Trump’s edge by 11 points since the summer.

“Month after month DeSantis has been rising and now he is cutting significantly into Trump,” Mark Penn, the co-director of the survey, said of the polls findings. “If they both run, this will be quite a race and Trump could well lose.”

Trump holds an even larger lead over DeSantis in the latest Emerson College poll, which showed the former president besting his top rival by 30 points and both Republicans losing to presumptive Democratic nominee President Joe Biden in the general election.

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“For all [Republicans in name only], Never Trumpers, Radical Left Democrats and, of course, the Fake News Media, please enjoy this latest poll from highly respected Emerson College,” Trump said in a statement Tuesday responding to the Emerson poll. “I’m sure you will be thrilled!”

President Joe Biden lashed out at the current debate over gun control laws in the country while vacationing in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on Thursday.

Biden briefly spoke to reporters while visiting with local law enforcement officials on Thanksgiving and was asked to react to the recent deadly shootings in Virginia.

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The president and a bipartisan group of lawmakers successfully ushered through the most significant piece of gun control legislation the nation has seen in decades this summer, but the bill still lacked a number of provisions Biden pushed for, including a renewed ban on assault-style weapons and extended magazines and tougher red flag laws that go beyond incentive money the law to provided states.

“The idea that we’re not enforcing red flag laws,” the president stated, “is ridiculous.”

“The idea we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick. Just sick. It has no, no social redeeming value. Zero. None. Not a single solitary rationale for it except profit for the gun manufacturers,” he added.

Two recent shootings in Virginia, one at a Walmart in Chesapeake and one at the University of Virginia, as well as the Club Q shooting in Colorado, have renewed Biden’s calls for a national assault-style weapons ban.

Democrats had cited gun violence reform as a top issue they hope to address during the lame-duck session before Republicans retake the majority in January, and Biden told reporters Thursday that he would continue to push for a ban in the next Congress.

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“I’m going to try to get rid of assault weapons,“ he stated. “I’m going to do it whenever.”

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden spent Thanksgiving surrounded by family members in Nantucket, Massachusetts, as questions loom about the president’s political future.

The Bidens have been spending Thanksgivings on the island since their marriage nearly 50 years ago. However, this year, the family must make a difficult decision with heavy consequences for their clan and the nation at large: Will Joe Biden run for president again in 2024?

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Joe Biden is the country’s oldest-ever president, becoming the first-ever octogenarian commander in chief last Sunday.

And while the president and top administration officials have repeatedly stated his intent to run again in the next election, Joe Biden himself has also told reporters that he needs to have an honest conversation about the issue with the first lady and other members of his family. An announcement is expected to take place in the spring of 2023.

For months, Democrats and Republicans alike have raised concerns about Joe Biden’s age, and even following Democrats’ surprise performance in November’s midterm elections, a majority of voters expressed a desire for new candidates atop the tickets for both parties.

Furthermore, reporters have pressed White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in recent days about the president’s health amid speculation about his plans for the next election cycle.

“So the president is in good health and maintains an active lifestyle. That is from the doctor. He shared that with me. He will have a physical in the upcoming months, and the results will be released in the same way that it was last year,” Jean-Pierre said at Tuesday’s press briefing, though she declined to commit to releasing the results of the president’s physical before any campaign announcement is made.

“I don’t have a timeline for you. We are going to provide the information just as transparently as we did last year this time around as well,” she stated. “It will be happening in the next couple of months.”

The president also briefly addressed questions about his health while speaking with reporters Thursday.

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“Do you think I need it?” Joe Biden joked when asked about said physical. “Part of my physical is already done, and I’ll be getting it before the end of the year.”

The White House is seeking to tout its agenda accomplishments from the past year by releasing a list of “talking points” people can use to discuss politics during Thanksgiving dinner.

“One last item for your Thanksgiving dinner: some talking points when ‘that Uncle’ comes ‘at you’ about [President Joe Biden],” White House chief of staff Ron Klain tweeted.

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The list of talking points includes a slew of policy and legislative wins by the Biden administration and Democratic lawmakers, including measures on infrastructure and lower prescription costs that were signed by the president earlier this year. The list also touts the White House’s efforts to tackle inflation, noting gas prices are down $1.35 per gallon since June and that inflation has petered out over the last few months.

National average gas prices sit at $3.61 per gallon as of Wednesday, down from the $5.01 average recorded on June 14 — the highest average price recorded by AAA. Meanwhile, inflation rates came in lower than expected for the month of October as consumer prices rose 7.7%, down from the 8.2% recorded the month before, according to the consumer price index.

The White House also touted its progress on tackling unemployment “despite global challenges.” At the same time, the list hit out against Republicans for their “extreme” policy standpoints, pointing to GOP proposals for a federal abortion ban and efforts to repeal Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.

Klain’s tweet prompted some criticism from different corners of the GOP, with some trolling the chief of staff for his efforts to boost the administration ahead of Thanksgiving.

“If you need to use Biden WH talking points at a family dinner, you’ve already lost whatever argument you’re in,” wrote Will O’Grady, deputy national press secretary for the Republican National Committee.

“Fixed it for you,” chimed in Abigail Marone, the press secretary for Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), attaching a photo of an empty list of accomplishments.

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The discussion sheet comes just two weeks after the midterm elections in which Republicans seized a narrow majority in the House and Democrats maintained control of the Senate.

Despite Democrats outperforming expectations in the midterm elections, some Democrats are already looking ahead to 2024 and urging their party to usher in a new generation of leaders.

President Joe Biden prides himself in his willingness to reach across the political aisle, but House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who could be the next speaker in January, is poised to be a difficult opponent.

After surviving an intraparty challenge to remain the top House Republican, McCarthy has made overtures to his right, aware that his predecessors Paul Ryan (R-WI) and John Boehner (R-OH) were forced out by the hard-line faction. Simultaneously, Biden has expressed his desire to collaborate with the GOP while listing very liberal priorities that are unlikely to attract conservative support.

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Despite Biden’s rhetoric, Reagan biographer Craig Shirley dismissed the idea Biden and McCarthy’s relationship will be cordial and productive, attributing their potential problems to the president being “a hardcore leftist only interested in scoring points.”

“I expect nothing to get done in the next two years as a result, which will at least make Wall Street happy,” Shirley told the Washington Examiner. “Biden’s base would crucify him if he dealt with the Republicans, and the Republicans wouldn’t be too happy either. They are just too polarized.”

“They won’t come together on anything, even over ice cream,” he said, alluding to Biden’s penchant for the dessert.

Another Republican strategist, Cesar Conda, agreed, predicting the next two years will be defined by confrontation instead of cooperation. Citing the $550 billion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act, Conda is hopeful Biden and McCarthy can respond to China since there is consensus on decoupling supply chains and introducing more export controls, among other policies.

“Perhaps some immigration and border security reforms that don’t include mass amnesty,” the Navigators Global, LLC founding principal and policy adviser said. “There will have to be some deal on raising the debt limit. But given the polarized political environment going into a presidential election, it’ll be tough to find very many areas of cooperation.”

Biden congratulated McCarthy after Republicans clinched their narrowest House majority for a Democratic president in 40 years, repeating he is “ready to work” with the GOP on, for example, expanding abortion access.

“In this election, voters spoke clearly about their concerns: the need to lower costs, protect the right to choose, and preserve our democracy,” he wrote in a statement. “I will work with anyone — Republican or Democrat — willing to work with me to deliver results for them.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to describe Biden and McCarthy’s relationship, with the president himself providing very few details. The pair’s congressional careers only overlapped for two years from 2007 when Biden was one of Delaware’s two senators and McCarthy was elected to represent his home Bakersfield, California-anchored district.

“I think he’s the Republican leader, and I haven’t had much of occasion to talk to him, but I will be talking to him,” Biden said during his post-election press conference.

McCarthy has downplayed the possibility of compromise, crediting his intention to derail Biden’s agenda as a reason why Republicans now control the House. He has also promised to remove three Democrats from their committees: Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Eric Swalwell (D-CA).

The Democratic National Committee has continued criticizing McCarthy as “beholden” to the “extreme far-right wing of the Republican Party,” contending he has already demonstrated his inability to wrangle them. Biden did call McCarthy a “MAGA” GOP member on the campaign trail as well.

House Minority Leader-elect Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) is similarly ill-prepared to liaise with McCarthy, despite serving together in Congress since 2013. Jeffries conceded last weekend he has not conversed with McCarthy “recently” and has quipped, “Kevin who?” when asked about him in the past.

“I do have, I think, a much warmer relationship with Steve Scalise [R-LA],” Jeffries, the first black leader of a congressional caucus, told CNN of the incoming House majority leader.

Shirley argued Jeffries “will simply be a troublemaker, like a bad kid on the playground.”

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Although House Republicans are creating headaches for McCarthy, Biden’s thorn, liberal House Democrats, have coalesced behind the president, at least Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). Jayapal’s endorsement of Biden’s unconfirmed 2024 reelection bid coincides with Democrats overperforming in this month’s midterm elections.

The White House has lashed out at House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) before his press conference at the southern border about Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre denounced McCarthy’s event as a “political stunt” devoid of policy solutions as Mayorkas’s department last week reported 230,678 illegal immigrants were apprehended attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border last month, the highest October total in DHS history.

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“What is his plan? What is he doing to help the situation that we’re seeing?” she said during Tuesday’s press briefing. “He goes down there and he does a political stunt, like many Republicans do, that we have seen them do, [and] not put forth a plan.”

Jean-Pierre also singled out Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for voting against Biden’s “request for record funding to support the hard-working men and women at the Department of Homeland Security,” amounting to $56.7 billion for fiscal 2023.

Biden’s own proposals include a “comprehensive immigration plan,” introduced on the first day of his administration almost two years ago, Jean-Pierre said, before encouraging Republicans to work with the president.

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“We’ve partnered with Mexico and Guatemala to tackle the criminal smuggling networks preying on immigrants,” she added. “Those efforts have already resulted in thousands of arrests … and we’re stopping fentanyl before it even makes it to the streets of the United States.”

McCarthy is expected to tour the border and meet with U.S. Border Patrol employees in El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday, in addition to making a “major” announcement about Mayorkas.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser and former President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 task force head, ignored numerous questions from reporters Tuesday about his personal role in investigating the origins of COVID-19.

Fauci and Dr. Ashish Jha, Biden’s current top COVID-19 adviser, joined White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at Tuesday’s briefing, Fauci’s final appearance in the briefing room before retiring next month.

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Fauci’s appearance Tuesday was ostensibly to urge Americans to get their updated COVID-19 booster shots, but the briefing quickly descended into chaos as reporters began pressing him on his personal role in investigating COVID’s origins.

At multiple points, Jean-Pierre began shouting down reporters for asking questions out of turn.

“We have a process here, I’m not calling on people who yell, and you’re being disrespectful to your colleagues and you’re being disrespectful to our guests,” she stated. “I will not call on you if you yell, and also you’re taking time off the clock because Dr. Fauci has to leave in a couple of minutes.”

At the tail end of his time in the briefing room, Fauci did answer one question about the incoming Republican House majority’s plans to investigate his handling of the pandemic.

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Fauci noted that he has testified before Congress “hundreds of times” in the past and he would comply with Republican investigators if asked.

You can watch Tuesday’s briefing in full below.

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