The questioners had a decidedly liberal tone at President Biden’s town-hall meeting hosted by CNN on Wednesday night in Cincinnati.
One woman, a financial adviser named Cindy, asked the president why Democrats even bother to try to seek Republican support in Congress for their plans to aid the economy. She said Democrats’ agenda is being “held hostage by the utopian need to gain bipartisan support.”
Mr. Biden disagreed. He said he has worked with Republicans in the Senate for decades.
“I think it’s going to get done,” he said of his infrastructure spending plan. “Many times, Republicans are in the right place.”
But he went on to say that some Republican voters have subscribed to Qanon conspiracy theories about Democrats “hiding people, sucking the blood of children.”
“We’ve got to get beyond this. This is not who we are,” the president said.
Zach Parkinson, a Republican National Committee official, tweeted, “I’m starting to think this CNN audience isn’t a random sampling of Ohioans.”
Another questioner asked the president why he doesn’t push Senate Democrats to eliminate the filibuster so they can approve Democrats’ voting rights legislation.
“Isn’t it logical to get rid of the filibuster so we can protect our democracy and secure the right to vote?” the man asked. CNN host Don Lemon agreed with the premise. He suggested that the filibuster is a vestige of the “Jim Crow” era and has been used to block civil rights legislation.
Mr. Biden said he doesn’t want the legislation on voting to become a debate “only about whether or not we have a filibuster. … I think we can get it done.”
“You’re going to throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done,” Mr. Biden said of eliminating the filibuster.