GOP Governor, Biden Toast to Civility in Politics

'It's just not like it was,' president tells gathering
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 25, 2024 11:15 AM CST
At White House, Governors Hear Calls for Bipartisanship
Trisha Yearwood performs during a reception for members of the National Governors Association and their spouses in the East Room of the White House on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

President Biden and Utah Gov. Spencer Cox disagree on many issues, but they were united Saturday in calling for less bitterness in politics and more bipartisanship. "Politics has gotten too personally bitter," said Biden, who has been in the field since he was elected to the Senate in 1972. "It's just not like it was." The Democratic president commented while delivering a toast to the nation's governors and their spouses at a black-tie White House dinner in their honor, the AP reports. Cox, a Republican and chairman of the National Governors Association, preceded Biden to the lectern beneath an imposing portrait of Abraham Lincoln above the fireplace in the State Dining Room.

The Utah governor said the association "harkens back to another time, another era, when we did work together across partisan lines, when there was no political danger in appearing with someone from the other side of the aisle and we have to keep this, we have to maintain this, we cannot lose this," he said. Cox leads the initiative Disagree Better, which aims to reduce divisiveness, per the AP. He had joked earlier in the program that he and Biden might be committing "mutually assured destruction" by appearing together at the White House since they're both up for reelection this year.

Cox told Biden the governors honor him, acknowledging "the incredible burden that weighs on your shoulders." He added that, "We can't imagine what it must be like, the decisions that you have to make." Biden said he remembered when lawmakers would argue by day and break bread together at night. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat who is the association's vice chairman, also offered a toast. "We have a lot more in common and a lot more that brings us together as Americans for love of country and love of the people of our country," he said.

(More President Biden stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.