Biden uses press conference as a chance to point fingers at Trump

CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports.

Posted: Mar 26, 2021 6:31 PM
Updated: Mar 26, 2021 6:31 PM

President Joe Biden is making no qualms about former President Donald Trump's policies being the root cause of issues that his administration is now scrambling to address.

More than two months into his presidency, at his first news conference since becoming president, Biden blamed Trump for a slew of issues, including a broken immigration system and the US' current diplomatic woes.

Biden's frequent invocation of Trump was noticeable perhaps because his press conference was the first time he spoke at length on a variety of issues his White House is working on, and his relative low-profile compared to Trump.

The press corps also wanted to talk about Trump. Biden was also asked about the possibility of running against Trump in 2024, Trump's plan to pull the US out of Afghanistan and Georgia's law placing new limits on voting -- a direct result of Trump's false claims about election fraud.

The President's frequent mentions of Trump should come as no surprise.

Biden built up a presidential campaign pegged on reversing the Trump administration's policies and countering what he saw as Trump's political divisiveness. His 2020 campaign revolved around the idea that the "soul of the nation" was at stake in the election, and that he would seek to heal a country fractured by Trump's presidency.

No policy area is perhaps as central to Trump's image than his anti-immigration actions.

Biden largely blamed Trump for the current situation on the southern border, where an influx of unaccompanied minors are traveling into the US, despite some indications that unauthorized migrants are coming into the US because of the perception that the new administration will be more lenient.

"It happens every single, solitary year. There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months of January, February, March. It happens every year," Biden said. "By the way, does anybody suggest that there was a 31% increase under Trump because he was a nice guy? And he was doing good things at the border? That's not the reason they're coming."

The President also blasted the Trump administration's withdrawal of foreign aid funding to deal with the "root causes" of migration and blamed his predecessor for having "shut down the number of beds available" by not funding the Department of Health and Human Services "to get the children out of those Border Patrol facilities."

Despite a recent spike in migrants that is putting the US on track to see the most individuals on the southern border in 20 years, Biden says he's making no apologies for the way he's handling the situation.

"First of all, all the (Trump) policies that were underway were not helping at all, did not slow up the amount of immigration, and as many people coming. And rolling back the policies of separating children from their mothers? I make no apology for that," Biden told reporters.

"I make no apologies for ending programs that did not exist before Trump became president that have an incredibly negative impact on the law, international law, as well as on human dignity," he added.

Trump kicked off his presidential campaign in 2015 by claiming that "when Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. ... They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

He repeatedly used terms such as "killer," "predator," "animal" and "invasion" when referencing immigration issues in front of audiences.

And his administration was responsible for devising some of the most stringent and publicly divisive immigration policies America had adopted, including the so-called "zero tolerance" policy, which resulted in the separation of thousands of migrant families, including those with children.

Trump's blame game

Biden's blame game with Trump is in line with what other US presidents have done after taking office.

President Barack Obama blamed the George W. Bush administration for the financial crisis. And Going back to President Ronald Reagan, nearly every US president has blamed their predecessor for inheriting a poor economy.

That extends to Trump, too.

During his first news conference since taking office, Trump referred to the messes he inherited from President Barack Obama four times.

"To be honest, I inherited a mess. A mess. At home and abroad -- a mess. Jobs are pouring out of the country. You see what's going on with all of the companies leaving our country, going to Mexico and other places. Low pay, low wages," Trump said in 2017. "Mass instability overseas, no matter where you look. The Middle East, a disaster. North Korea, we'll take care of it, folks. We're going to take care of it all. I just want to let you know. I inherited a mess."

Trump went on to express his frustrations about the messes he inherited up until his final weeks in office, but touted his legacy on immigration as a "success story."

"This is a real success story," Trump told US Customs and Border Patrol agents during a speech in front of a section of the US-Mexico border wall in mid-January. "When I took office, we inherited a broken, dysfunctional, and open border. Everybody was pouring in at will. Working alongside the heroes in this great outdoor space, looking at our wall, we reformed our immigration system and achieved the most secure southern border in US history. It is at a level that it's never been before."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 593622

Reported Deaths: 7379
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1228171731
Ramsey51446875
Dakota45976452
Anoka41782439
Washington26948283
Stearns22266222
St. Louis17787304
Scott17296124
Wright16082140
Olmsted1325598
Sherburne1173087
Carver1050745
Clay816392
Rice8063107
Blue Earth751541
Crow Wing666290
Kandiyohi656283
Chisago601351
Otter Tail575478
Benton571697
Goodhue478572
Douglas468575
Mower466232
Winona455050
Itasca439156
McLeod424559
Isanti422464
Morrison419660
Nobles408048
Beltrami397059
Steele388715
Polk384868
Becker380953
Lyon361051
Carlton345654
Freeborn342029
Pine329022
Nicollet326243
Brown305440
Mille Lacs305053
Le Sueur292423
Todd282432
Cass273428
Meeker256640
Waseca236322
Martin230732
Roseau209419
Wabasha20613
Hubbard190041
Dodge18513
Renville180343
Redwood174337
Houston171916
Cottonwood165823
Fillmore156510
Wadena155922
Pennington153719
Faribault152419
Chippewa152338
Kanabec144726
Sibley143810
Aitkin135036
Watonwan13289
Rock128319
Jackson121812
Pipestone115926
Yellow Medicine114120
Pope11056
Murray10639
Swift105618
Stevens91411
Marshall88117
Clearwater86916
Koochiching83615
Wilkin81612
Lake81120
Lac qui Parle75322
Big Stone6004
Lincoln5813
Grant5788
Mahnomen5539
Norman5399
Unassigned49293
Kittson48622
Red Lake3977
Traverse3705
Lake of the Woods3253
Cook1640

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 367236

Reported Deaths: 5940
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57666626
Linn20892335
Scott20060241
Black Hawk15824308
Woodbury15138228
Johnson1449183
Dubuque13380208
Dallas1118398
Pottawattamie11132168
Story1062348
Warren577988
Clinton555893
Cerro Gordo540689
Sioux514474
Webster512293
Marshall483075
Muscatine481399
Des Moines458066
Wapello4303122
Buena Vista424840
Jasper419372
Plymouth401280
Lee376055
Marion362875
Jones299057
Henry291937
Carroll285752
Bremer284860
Crawford266240
Boone265034
Benton256655
Washington254050
Dickinson248543
Mahaska230451
Jackson222142
Clay215725
Kossuth215564
Tama209871
Delaware209741
Winneshiek196835
Page192722
Buchanan191432
Cedar190023
Hardin185643
Fayette185141
Wright184737
Hamilton180049
Harrison179673
Clayton169556
Butler165034
Madison162519
Mills162422
Floyd161142
Cherokee158938
Lyon158241
Poweshiek154934
Allamakee151451
Iowa148824
Hancock148434
Winnebago142531
Cass138654
Calhoun138513
Grundy136333
Emmet134240
Jefferson132435
Shelby131137
Sac130419
Union128333
Louisa128149
Appanoose128049
Mitchell126442
Chickasaw124116
Guthrie121530
Franklin120721
Humboldt119126
Palo Alto112823
Howard104622
Montgomery103338
Clarke100224
Unassigned9710
Keokuk96031
Monroe95329
Ida90435
Adair86532
Pocahontas85522
Davis83024
Monona82730
Osceola78716
Greene77710
Lucas77223
Worth7478
Taylor66012
Fremont6229
Decatur6089
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