White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Biden is “not eager” to be labeled by Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after the Kentucky Republican called the Biden administration “left-wing.”
She didn’t say whether the president identifies as a moderate in the Democratic party.
“Does the president still identify as a moderate within the Democratic party or do you feel that he has moved more to the progressive side?” a reporter asked at the White House daily briefing on Tuesday.
“I don’t think this will surprise you but the president is not eager to be labeled by anyone in his party, or certainly even by his friend Mitch McConnell,” Psaki said.
“I like him personally,” McConnell said last week during a trip to Owensboro Health Regional Hospital in Kentucky. “I mean, we’ve been friends for a long time, he’s a first-rate person. Nevertheless, this is a bold left-wing administration. I don’t think they have the mandate to do what they are doing.”
The GOP leader predicted Biden would not be able to win over any Republicans for the president’s proposed $2 trillion spending bill that was meant to focus on infrastructure.
“I think that package that they are putting together now, as much as we would like to address infrastructure, is not going to get support from our side,” McConnell said.
Psaki said Biden was encouraged by the “openness to discussing” components of the bill, given that both Democrats and Republicans agree on the need for an infrastructure bill.
Republicans have said they won’t go for the size and scope of Biden’s bill.
The plan unveiled by Biden on Wednesday in Pittsburgh includes money for roads, bridges as well as other spending on renewable energy job training, electric vehicles and climate initiatives.
To pay for the sweeping package, the president has proposed several tax hikes. But McConnell warned his constituents, “The last thing the economy needs right now is a big whopping tax increase on all the productive sectors of our economy.”
McConnell, who has served in the Senate since 1984, added, “Remember, February of 2020, just little over a year ago, we had the best economy in 50 years. The principal reason for that was the tax reform package we did in 2017.”
Fox News’ Jon Michael Raasch contributed to this report.