President Joe Biden on Wednesday said he is not concerned that newly installed House Speaker Mike Johnson will attempt to unlawfully block him from serving a second term if he wins next year’s presidential election.
Mr Biden was asked about the possibility during a press conference alongside Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in the White House Rose Garden, just minutes after the House’s Republican majority voted unanimously to install Mr Johnson as successor to ousted former speaker Kevin McCarthy after a chaotic 22-day interregnum.
The Louisiana congressman was a staunch supporter of former president Donald Trump during the ex-president’s attempt to remain in office despite having lost the 2020 election. He frequently promoted outlandish conspiracy theories about non-existent voter fraud and rigged voting machines which Trump allies had floated to explain his loss, and marshalled House GOP support for a failed lawsuit that sought to have the US Supreme Court throw out electoral votes from swing states won by Mr Biden.
But Mr Biden told reporters he is not worried that Mr Johnson’s record presages how the new Speaker will act if he is in office when the 2024 election is certified following another victory over Mr Trump, who is currently the likely GOP presidential nominee despite facing more than 90 felony charges in four separate jurisdictions.
“Just like I was not worried about the last guy being able to overturn the election,” said the president, who added that Mr Trump’s legal team had a losing record of “about 60 lawsuits” during the period between the November 2020 election and 6 January 2021, the day a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in hopes of thwarting certification of the results.
“I understand the Constitution,” he added.