Remarks by President Biden Before Air Force One Departure

Published: Wed Jan 04 2023

Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport
Hebron, Kentucky

2:45 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: I've got - I got good news for you: They just elected you Speaker. (Points to reporter.) (Laughter.)

Q Hey, what did you and Senator McConnell talk about in the limo ride?

THE PRESIDENT: We talked about foreign policy, about Ukraine, about keeping everybody together - not in the Congress, but just internationally.

Q Are you going to be visiting the border when you head down to Mexico?

THE PRESIDENT: That's my intention. We're working out the details now.

Q Do you think the NFL is getting too dangerous?

THE PRESIDENT: No. Look, the idea that you're going to have - look, you got guys that are 6'8", 340 pounds running a 4.8 40. I mean, you know, you hit somebody with that kind of force - now, that's not what happened here.

But I just think it's a - I don't know how you avoid it. I don't - I think working like hell on the helmets and the concussion protocols - that all makes a lot of sense. But it's - you know, it is dangerous. You got to just acknowledge it.

Q Mr. President, are you con- - are you concerned about the implications of there not being - of there not being a functioning House of Representatives at this point?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, obviously, I am. In terms of --

I'll put my hat on here.

For two reasons. One, it's embarrassing for the country. I mean, literally. Now, I'm not making a (inaudible). It's just the reality is that, you know, to be able - have a Congress that can't function is just embarrassing. We're the greatest nation in the world. How can that be?

And we've had a lot of trouble with - I'm sorry for the noise - a lot of trouble with the attacks on our institutions already. And it just - that - that's what worries me more than anything else.

Q What about Bradley Fighting Vehicles for Ukraine? Is that on the table?


Q Are you worried about how China is handling COVID right now?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, yes, I am. But I think we just got to make the protocol we set out: that if you're flying from China, you got to be tested, and so on.

Chi- - China has not been - I know they're very sensitive about sugge- - when we suggest they haven't been that forthcoming.

Q Thank you, sir.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Thanks, everybody. Thank you.

Q Mr. President, can you talk about the significance of having Mitch McConnell here with you today? And -

THE PRESIDENT: Well, that's for all you to decide.

Q And - (laughs) - and how you -

Q No, but for you -

Q - and how your relationship will be - will - how the relationship will matter in this next Congress with House Republicans being what they are?

THE PRESIDENT: Look, I've had a relationship with Mitch McConnell for years. And when, in the - when, in the Obama administration, they were going to - weren't going to pay the debt, you know, McConnell and I stayed up, as you remember, on New Year's Eve night until - you know, late at night to finish it.

I've - we've always been able to work together.

All right, thank you very much.

2:48 P.M. EST

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