Punchbowl News host mocks Biden administration on “bipartisanship,” ignoring Republican intransigence

Punchbowl News hosts mock Biden administration on “bipartisanship,” ignoring Republican intransigence

Audio file

Citation From the April 12, 2021, edition of Punchbowl News’ The Daily Punch

JAKE SHERMAN (CO-HOST, NBC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST): Let's go to the No. 2 item of the day. The White House has a group of Republicans and Democrats from the House and Senate coming over for a meeting on infrastructure. The members of the House are Don Young of Alaska, Republican; Don Payne, Democrat of New Jersey; Garret Graves, Republican of Louisiana; and David Price, Democrat of North Carolina. From the Senate, it's Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington; Roger Wicker, Republican of Mississippi; Deb Fischer, Republican of Nebraska; and Alex Padilla, Democrat of California.

ANNA PALMER (CO-HOST): Yeah, I mean, to me it's, I think, very interesting when you look at coming off of this weekend, The Washington Post's Ashley Parker has a great story up overnight about how the Biden administration is defining bipartisanship differently, much more expansively, not about votes in Congress but about support in America for bills. And I do think this potentially opens them up, in terms of the Biden administration, to say, like, “Listen, we're meeting with a lot of people,” instead of, you know, kind of facing frustration among rank-and-file and certainly even senior members like a Maria Cantwell that, “Oh, you're just meeting, you know, with Mitt Romney and Susan Collins all the time,” that there's other folks that do matter in this Congress. And so kind of at least on the front end looking more expansively, it'll be interesting to see how that plays in Washington.

SHERMAN: Could I just say something here? You know, I don't really care how they define it, to be honest with you. I liked that Ashley Parker story, I thought it was good. But who cares how they define it? Bipartisan means it gets votes from both parties in Congress. I mean, you know, you could call — you could call, you know, a donkey a pony and it doesn't make it true. You know, I mean, like —

PALMER: Coming in hot this morning, Sherman.

SHERMAN: Look, it's just nonsense. Just because they want to say it's — yes, there are Republicans and Democrats that support everything on planet Earth. So is everything bipartisan? No, not everything's bipartisan. Bipartisan means you get votes from both parties in Congress, or else it's not bipartisan. I mean it's just —

PALMER: A valiant effort of messaging, I will give them that, all right.


Mainstream media outlets have been consistently putting the onus on the Biden administration to pursue bipartisanship with Republicans, while ignoring the well-documented GOP strategy to refuse all bipartisan cooperation as a rule during the Obama years. This strategy has in turn been followed up by continued stalling tactics and unserious negotiating ploys since Biden's term began.

In the face of these facts, as reported in The Washington Post article that Palmer and Sherman discussed, “Biden’s allies say his distinctive take on bipartisanship is born out of political calculation and practicality.” This means that with narrow Democratic majorities in Congress, the Biden team is seeking to reach out to moderate voters who remain uncomfortable with former President Donald Trump's continued role in Republican politics.

Meanwhile, polling shows that significant portions of Republican voters across the country support Biden’s infrastructure bill either in whole or key parts of it.