President Joe Biden described House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as an “honest man” before acknowledging what he “sold away” to some Republicans in order to gain the speakership earlier this year.
Biden, in an interview Friday with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle, weighed in on whether McCarthy is “an honest broker” when it comes to negotiations as he prepares to meet with the speaker and other congressional leaders to discuss the debt ceiling on Thursday.
“Well, I think he’s an honest man. I think he’s in a position, though, he had to make a deal that was pretty, you know, 15 votes ... ,” said Biden, who let out a slight laugh as he referred to the California Republican’s lengthy speaker election in January.
“Fifteen votes where he just about sold away everything that the far, far right... there’s a Republican Party and there’s the MAGA Republicans, and the MAGA Republicans really have put him in a position where in order to stay speaker he has to agree. He’s agreed to things that maybe he believes but are just extreme.”
Biden, who on Friday praised the gain of 253,000 new jobs last month, warned that the failure to raise the debt ceiling could wipe that economic progress away and lead to what he referred to as a “manufactured crisis” orchestrated by “MAGA Republicans.”
A White House spokesperson told NBC News earlier this week that a “self-inflicted default” from the GOP could lead to higher costs for families and businesses while also increasing the risk of recession.