(Washington) President Joe Biden hailed Wednesday a “good day for democracy” in the aftermath of the midterm elections, where his Democratic party resisted the announced Republican “wave”, even if he will probably have to face a House representatives with a Republican majority.
“We had an election yesterday. And it was a good day, I think, for democracy. And I think it was a good day for America, “said the president at a press conference at the White House, welcoming that the ballot took place” apparently without interference “.
He also reiterated that he “intended” to run for a second term in 2024, specifying that he would confirm it “at the beginning of next year”.
While the final election results are not yet known, Joe Biden visibly relished the good performance of the Democrats and sent a message of firmness to the Republicans.
“While the press and experts predicted a giant red wave, it did not happen,” he said, referring to the color of the Republican Party, while acknowledging “the frustration” of many voters, particularly in the face of inflation.
Joe Biden was speaking a day after midterm elections in which his party limited the damage in a poll traditionally difficult for the ruling party, which were seen as a test for his political future.
The Democratic leader said he was “ready to work with the Republican opposition”, claiming to be open to all “good ideas”, but he set several red lines on social security, abortion or even climate change.
Nearly 24 hours after the closing of the first polling stations, America was still waiting to know the fate of several decisive and hotly contested polls, such as in Arizona or Nevada.
But Republicans were well positioned to take control, albeit narrowly, of the House of Representatives, while the fate of the Senate remained up in the air.
Cautious, the major American media were careful not to announce their projections for control of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives, the majority being at 218.
“Disappointing” says Trump
The “red wave” expected by the Republicans therefore did not take place, undoubtedly depriving Donald Trump of a springboard in his desire to regain the White House.
Silent all morning, the former president made a rare confession, acknowledging “somewhat disappointing” results on his social network Truth Social.
Many of his lieutenants were beaten. And one of his potential rivals for the Republican nomination, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, 44, stole the show by being triumphantly re-elected.
Republican tenor Kevin McCarthy, who should in the event of victory become the next president of the lower house, succeeding Nancy Pelosi, assured him that his party would “take over the House of Representatives” on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday.
If the victory is confirmed, the Republicans have already announced the color: they will try to tear down Joe Biden’s program and have promised to open investigations into his management of power.
The Senate goes into overtime
In the Senate, where the Democrats held a very slim majority before the election, it will surely be several days, even weeks, before a majority emerges.
Arizona and Nevada were yet to be decided as of 10 p.m. GMT.
And in Georgia, as in 2020, voters will play overtime. None of the candidates, pastor Raphael Warnock, outgoing senator, and former American football star Herschel Walker, having crossed the 50% mark of the vote.
A new ballot is already scheduled for December 6.
The Democrats snatched from the Republicans one of the most contested seats in this ballot, in Pennsylvania, won by John Fetterman.
On the side of the governors, after having taken two posts from the Republicans (in Maryland and Massachusetts), the Democratic camp had not said its last word either in Arizona, where the outcome of the race between the Trumpist Kari Lake , given favorite, and Democrat Katie Hobbs, remained unknown.
In this state, technical problems were encountered, but the elections were not rigged, local authorities insisted on Wednesday.
In addition, the defenders of the right to abortion were delighted to have recorded “historic” victories, including in the very conservative Kentucky, during the referendums organized in the wake of the judgment of the Supreme Court in June.
Americans have “sent a clear and unambiguous message that they want to preserve our democracy and protect the right to choose in this country,” President Biden said.
Biden wants to discuss ‘red lines’ with Beijing
In addition, Joe Biden expressed his wish to discuss with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping mutual “red lines” not to be crossed, during the summit of G20 heads of state scheduled for mid-November.
“What I want to do with him, when we talk to each other, is to determine the type of red lines” that we must respect, declared the Democratic leader during a press conference in Washington.
Mr. Biden said he wanted to study the existence of a possible conflict between “what he (Xi Jinping) considers to be the critical national interests of China (and) what I know are the critical national interests of the United States “.
The American president said he was ready to work towards the resolution of such a conflict, while relations between Beijing and Washington have recently become strained and deteriorated.
The tenant of the White House is going to Asia this weekend, first to an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Phnom Penh, then to a G20 meeting in Bali and finally at the Asia-Pacific Cooperation Forum (Apec) in Bangkok.
These will be strategic meetings for the United States, which has identified China as its “sole rival” in the long term and is trying to rally countries, particularly in Southeast Asia, which are reluctant to oppose Beijing.
The American president confirmed on Wednesday that he would raise the very sensitive issue of Taiwan with Xi Jinping.
“The doctrine on Taiwan has not changed at all,” Mr. Biden repeated again, avoiding to rephrase previous remarks which had irritated Beijing, according to which the American army would defend Taiwan if the island was attacked.
Xi Jinping won a third term at the Chinese Communist Party Congress last month, cementing his status as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Tse-tung. This raises fears in Taiwan, but also in Washington, that China will redouble its efforts to obtain its reunification with the island.
Washington historically maintains a policy of “strategic ambiguity” about possible US military intervention if Taiwan were attacked by China.
The People’s Republic of China considers Taiwan to be one of its provinces, which it has yet to successfully reunify with the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949.
Elon Musk’s links to consider
Elon Musk’s ties to foreign countries “deserve consideration”, added Joe Biden, in response to a question about whether the billionaire’s takeover of Twitter poses a threat to US national security.
“I think Elon Musk’s cooperation, and/or technical relationships with other countries are worth considering,” he said, visibly considering carefully the words used in his response.
The Democratic leader was responding to a question about the involvement of Saudi Prince Al-Walid bin Talal in the takeover of Twitter by the boss of the car manufacturer Tesla.
Prince al-Walid has indeed brought Elon Musk the almost 35 million shares he already held in the social network, directly and through his holdings in KHC, making him the group’s second largest shareholder.
Shortly after the takeover of Twitter in late October, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy tweeted that “we should be concerned that the Saudis, who have a clear interest in suppressing political expression and influencing American politics , are now the second owner of a major social media platform.
The senator also announced that he would ask the Senate Foreign Investment Committee to open an investigation into “the national security implications of the takeover of Twitter by Saudi Arabia”.
For Joe Biden, whether or not Mr. Musk “is doing something inappropriate, and I’m not implying that he is, it deserves to be looked at, that’s the only thing I can say about it “.
Until now little concerned with political and geopolitical questions, Elon Musk gave his opinion on several important subjects, in particular the war in Ukraine and the tensions between China and Taiwan.
In a first case, the billionaire proposed a solution involving the definitive cession of Crimea to Russia, “in order to repair the historic error of (Nikita) Khrushchev” as well as a real referendum in the predominantly Russian-speaking regions of the country in order to to decide on the future of these parts of Ukrainian territory.
Regarding Taiwan, Elon Musk spoke out in favor of a reunification of the two Chinas following negotiations between the two sides of the strait.
China is Tesla’s first market where the group has a factory in Shanghai.
In both cases, the businessman’s comments elicited positive reactions from both Moscow and Beijing.