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THE VIEW IN REVIEW

Jen Psaki Tells Americans to 'Have a Margarita' to Combat Voting Rights Frustration

"To everyone who's frustrated, sad, angry, pissed off: feel those emotions," the White House press secretary said on The View Friday morning.
  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki began Biden's second year in office with an appearance on The View. (Photo: ABC)
    White House press secretary Jen Psaki began Biden's second year in office with an appearance on The View. (Photo: ABC)

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    Despite the co-hosts' best efforts, White House press Jen Psaki managed to evade the tough questions during a lengthy appearance on The View Friday morning. The Biden official spent the bulk of the interview discussing voting rights legislation, which failed this week after Democratic Sens. Manchin and Sinema joined Republicans in rejecting Democrats' attempt to change filibuster rules to get the bill passed. Though she admitted the situation is "frustrating," Psaki advised Americans to "go to a kickboxing class, have a margarita, do whatever you need to do this weekend, and then wake up on Monday morning — we've got to keep fighting."

    When guest co-host Linsey Davis asked about "the path forward" for voting rights legislation after Wednesday's vote, Psaki insisted that "we have to keep fighting" for the cause. "This week has been frustrating, devastating, angering, all of those things," said the press secretary. "And everybody who has been fighting for this — there are so many activists across the country who have been so central to getting to this point. I mean, just a year ago, there were more people who were opposed to the filibuster changes in the Senate. So we've made some progress on that front, but we've got to stay at it."

    "So, my advice to everyone out there who is frustrated, sad, angry, pissed off: feel those emotions," Psaki continued, adding that Americans should "do whatever you need to do this weekend" to vent their frustrations before continuing to "fight" for voting rights. "We've got to keep talking to members about federal legislation ... but we've also got to make sure people are educated in states across the country about what their rights are, how they can vote, when they can vote, how to request an absentee ballot. There's a lot we need to do on that front, and that's going to rely on the energy and the anger of that activism, as well."

    Just a few minutes later, Psaki avoided answering Sunny Hostin's question about Biden's failure to anticipate Republicans' obstructionism. "It's gotten worse since Trump!" Psaki said of the GOP's determination to stall Biden's agenda. "What has changed? Trump's control over the party? The fear of Trump? You'll have to ask Republicans in the Senate to explain why they were for protecting voting rights, and are not now."

    Hostin also asked why voting rights wasn't "prioritized earlier, when Americans were so engaged after the fallout from the insurrection, a point she's been raising all week on the show. "He's been engaged in it from the beginning," replied Psaki. "The premise there would suggest that Sen. Manchin and Sen. Sinema and others who opposed the filibuster changes more than them at the time would've had a different point of view then. We don't think that's true."

    "But this is very frustrating," continued Psaki. "It's infuriating that some people in the Senate, including the entire Republican caucus, won't support people's fundamental rights."

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    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: Jen Psaki, ABC, The View, Joe Biden, Sunny Hostin, politics