Psaki: Biden Sees His Role As Governing, Leading, Unifying the Country

By Susan Jones | October 15, 2021 | 9:00am EDT
(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

( - At the end of the White House press conference on Thursday, a reporter asked spokeswoman Jen Psaki if President Biden has called actor Matthew McConaughey and urged him to run for governor.

"I can confirm there have been no calls to Matthew McConaughey from this office that I am aware of or tracking. Of course, the president sees his role as governing the country, leading the country, unifying the country.

"He is also the leader of the Democratic Party. He's been in politics -- involved in politics for quite some time. Some might say he's a pretty good retail politician. So, I can assure you he is following everything happening out there quite closely."

On another political topic -- the close race for governor in the Commonwealth of Virginia -- Psaki said Biden, "of course," wants Democrat Terry McAuliffe to win a second term:

"There is alignment on a lot of their agenda, whether it is the need to invest in rebuilding our roads, rails, and bridges or making it easier for women to rejoin the workforce," Psaki said.

"I will leave it to other, outside analysis to convey that off-year elections are often not a bellwether but -- and there's a lot of history here in Virginia. But again, we're going to do everything we can to help former Governor McAuliffe, and we believe in the agenda he's representing."

In a conversation with supporters earlier this month, McAuliffe suggested that Biden's unpopularity is a drag on his gubernatorial campaign: "We are facing a lot of headwinds from Washington, as you know," McAuliffe said. "The President is unpopular today unfortunately here in Virginia, so we got to plow through."

First Lady Jill Biden is joining McAuliffe on the campaign trail today, and Psaki said she expects the president will "do more to help his friend...I just don't have details at this point in time," she said.

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