President Joe Biden made headlines on Wednesday when he said that he became a senator 120 years ago while answering a reporter’s question about changing the filibuster, according to Fox News.
The exchange happened during Biden’s first press conference in his 64 days in office where he joked that he wanted to see the filibuster go back to the way it was when he became a senator “120 years ago.”
“I believe we should go back to a position of a filibuster that existed just when I came to the United States Senate 120 years ago,” the president joked.
Responses to the curious statement have ranged from covering for the president to concern about his mental health to jokes made at his expense.
Rep. Lauren Boebert, (R-C.O.), quoted Biden saying he was almost right on his timeline but pointed out that the president had “Almost Joe. 48 years and nothing to show for it.”
Comedian Tim Young weighed in, saying, “Wait so you’re telling me that Joe Biden WASN’T in the Senate 120 years ago?” And former Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, (R-N.Y.) joked that “it sure does feel” like Biden was in the Senate for 120 years.
Regardless of whether the comment by our nation’s oldest president was intentional or another in a long line of verbal missteps, his opinion on the filibuster is a crucial one considering how prevalent the issue has become among progressives.
While it’s unclear what factual foundation the accusation has, the farthest left among lawmakers and activists have deemed the filibuster racist and a rule that should be thrown out or at a minimum fiercely reformed.
Biden said Thursday he “strongly support[s]” working to reform the silent filibuster.