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Joe Biden has vowed to veto any attempt at a federal abortion ban and ‘try like the devil’ to ban assault weapons after Democrats had a better night than expected in the midterm election.

Although the president said he was willing to compromise on many issues with Republicans, who are expected to have a majority in the House while several Senate races remain tight, he noted deals on abortion, gun control and climate change were off the table.

‘I will veto any attempt to pass the national ban on abortion,’ Biden said on Wednesday, ‘but I’m ready to compromise with Republicans where it makes sense on many other issues. He added: ‘I’m gonna ban assault weapons, or try like the devil.’ 

It came as Biden doubled down on the direction he was going as president, despite a majority of voters believing the US is on the wrong track, and reiterated his intention to run in 2024. 

Joe Biden vowed to veto any attempts at a national ban on abortion during his speech after Democrats did better than expected against a 'red wave'

Joe Biden vowed to veto any attempts at a national ban on abortion during his speech after Democrats did better than expected against a ‘red wave’

 

In August, the president promised to ban assault-style rifles, harkening back to the 1994 ban that expired in 2004. 

Biden appeared determined to ban the weapons following an earlier victory this year when one of his gun reform bills passed.  

The legislation, which received bipartisan support in the House and Senate, will toughen background checks for younger gun buyers, beef up penalties for gun traffickers, close the so-called ‘boyfriend loophole’ and put $750 million up for grabs for states that enact red flag laws. 

On Wednesday Biden also noted that he would not support any proposed cuts to Medicare and Social Security, nor would he turn back on policies to tackle climate change. 

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‘I want to be very clear, under no circumstances will I support the proposal put forward by Sen. [Ron] Johnson and a senator down in Florida to cut or make fundamental changes to Social Security and Medicare,’ Biden said.  

‘That’s not on the table. I will not do that.    

Biden told reporters he would speak with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday after the congressman announced his plan to run for Speaker of the House. 

The president was in a jovial mood after his party kept a red wave from crashing over the country in House, Senate and gubernatorial races.

He mocked the media for its predictions going into election night – which had him and his Democrats doing badly – and made jokes when asked about Republicans intentions to investigate his family and about his potential 2024 competition.

‘It’ll be fun watching them take on each other,’ he said of a possible battle between Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump for the GOP nomination. 

He also confirmed he intends to run for a second term.

But Biden mainly used the occasion to double down on his presidency, even as, in exit poll, 73 percent of voters said they were dissatisfied or angry about the way things are going in the country today

He said he would change ‘nothing’ about his time in office.

Biden expressed confidence he would win over those voters who are angry about inflation, which has caused the cost of living to soar.

‘They’re just finding out what we’re doing,’ he said. ‘The more they know about what we’re doing, the more support there is.’

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Biden pointed to policies like cutting prescription drug prices, and the roads and bridges being improved through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and future high speed Amtrak lines, explaining, ‘there’s a lot of things that are just starting to kick in.’ 

‘I’m not going to change,’ he said. 

The president noted that there would be no room for compromises on his agenda to ban assault weapons, fight climate change, and bolster Medicaid and Social Security

The president noted that there would be no room for compromises on his agenda to ban assault weapons, fight climate change, and bolster Medicaid and Social Security  

Biden also brushed off questions about intentions by Republicans to investigate his family, including his son Hunter, should they win control of the House. Races remain too close to call but the GOP is favored to take the majority.

‘Lots of luck in your seniors year my coach used to say,’ he said about the matter. ‘The American public wants us to move on and get things done for them.’

‘I think the American people will look at that for what it is: almost comedy. But you know, I can’t control what they’re going to do. All I can do is continue to try to make life better for the American people,’ he added.

His Wednesday press conference served as a victory lap.

‘While the press and the pundits are predicting a giant red wave. It didn’t happen,’ Biden said. ‘And I know you were somewhat miffed by my incessant optimism, I felt good during the whole process, I thought we were going to do fine.’ 

But he called the 2022 contest ‘a good day for democracy and I think a good day for America.’

He noted that while every loss is ‘painful’ and some Democrats got booted from their seats, he cited the statistic that his party lost fewer seats in the House than any Democrat did in the last 40 years. 

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And he said the midterm was the best for Democrats being elected to governors’ mansions since 1986.

President Biden joked about Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump jockeying for GOP nomination; 'It'll be fun watching them take on each other,' he said

President Biden joked about Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump jockeying for GOP nomination; ‘It’ll be fun watching them take on each other,’ he said

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis won re-election by a huge margin, prompting talk he will make a bid for president in 2024

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis won re-election by a huge margin, prompting talk he will make a bid for president in 2024 

The Democrats had a better-than-expected night, holding off a red wave or a ‘shellacking’ as former President Barack Obama called his first experience losing midterm races. 

The House still hasn’t been called for Republicans – with 207 House races so far going their way, while Democrats retained 184, with a number of competitive races still to be called. 

To win the House majority, a party needs 218 seats.   

The Senate remained winnable for the Democrats, with outstanding calls to be made in Nevada and Arizona. 

Arizona looked likely to stay in the party’s hands with Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly leading his GOP challenger Blake Masters by around 5 points with about two-thirds of the vote reporting. 

In Nevada, Democratic incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto was trailing her Republican opponent, Adam Laxalt. 

Even if Republicans pick up Nevada’s Senate seat, the Democrats can keep a majority if they hold onto Georgia. 

The Associated Press confirmed Georgia’s Senate candidates, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker would indeed be headed to an early December run-off. 

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