Biden says GOP assault on voting rights is ‘Jim Crow on steroids’

President Joe Biden walks toward Marine One to head to a town hall event in Ohio.
President Joe Biden walks toward Marine One to head to a town hall event in Ohio. Photo credit Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Joe Biden condemned attempts by Republican legislators across the country to limit or tighten access to voting as “Jim Crow on steroids” in response to a question at a CNN town hall Wednesday.

“I stand by what I said — never before has there been an attempt by state legislatures to take over the ability to determine who won — not count the votes, determine who won,” Biden warned.

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“With election officials across the board that they’re deciding to push out of the way ... they could say, ‘We don’t think it was legit,’ and the state legislature votes, ‘We’re gonna send electors up to Congress to vote for Trump, not Biden’ — That’s never … ever been tried before. This is Jim Crow on steroids,” Biden said.

But when pressed, Biden affirmed his belief in the filibuster’s congressional purpose, despite the legislative tactic being a potential hindrance to getting federal voting rights legislation passed. The president said he fears blowing up the filibuster would send “Congress into chaos,” and nothing would get done.

“I want to make sure we bring along, not just all the Democrats, we bring along Republicans who I know know better,” Biden told the audience. “They know better than this.”

So far, 17 states have passed legislation to curb access to voting, according to NYU Law School.