President Joe Biden used the CNN town hall on Thursday night to pitch his massive social spending package now before Congress.

But the president also seemed to use the town hall as an opportunity to call out Sens. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona), two main holdouts on the reconciliation package.

Of Manchin, Biden said: “Joe’s not a bad guy. He’s a friend.”

Biden added that Manchin and he have different ideas regarding the expansion of Medicare. “I think it’s a good idea. But here’s the thing. Mr. Manchin is opposed to that,” he said. “And I think Senator Sinema is, as well.”


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Biden called Sinema “smart as the devil” and “very supportive of the environmental agenda in my legislation.” Biden continued, saying “she will not raise a single penny on taxes for the corporate side and or on wealthy people.”

Biden also discussed his disagreements with Manchin over his clean energy promotion program. “Joe Manchin’s argument is, ‘Look, we still have coal in my state, you’re going to eliminate it eventually, we know it’s going away, we know it’s going to be gone, but don’t rush it so fast that my people don’t have anything to do.’ I think that’s not what we should be doing,” Biden said. “But the fact of the matter is we can take that 150 billion, add it to the 320 billion that’s in the law now that he’s prepared to support for tax incentives.”

Referring to his ambitious economic package, Biden said: “I do think I’ll get a deal. But nothing has been formally agreed to. Look, I was a senator for 370 years. I was… relatively good at putting together deals. If, in fact, I get myself into at this moment the debate on the filibuster, I lose at least three votes right to get what I have to get done on the economic side of the equation.”


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