WASHINGTON – Jen O’Malley Dillon, President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming White House deputy chief of staff, backpedaled on calling congressional Republicans an expletive.
O’Malley Dillon, who was Biden’s campaign manager, was interviewed by author Glennon Doyle for Glamour Magazine, recalled the criticism Biden faced from fellow Democrats during the primary for calling on bipartisanship. Many progressive Democrats viewed this as unrealistic.
“In the primary, people would mock him, like, ‘You think you can work with Republicans?’” O’Malley Dillon said in the interview, which was published on Tuesday. “I’m not saying they’re not a bunch of f—ers. Mitch McConnell is terrible. But this sense that you couldn’t wish for that, you couldn’t wish for this bipartisan ideal? He rejected that.”
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She added: “From start to finish, he set out with this idea that unity was possible, that together we are stronger, that we, as a country, need healing, and our politics needs that too.”
O’Malley Dillon walked back, and defended, that comment during a virtual conversation Thursday, according to Politico.
“I used some words that I probably could have chosen better,” she said.
O’Malley Dillon argued “the point that I was really making is an incredibly important point. And that really is about the president-elect and why he was supported by over 81 million people, and what they were looking for.”
She continued on to emphasize Biden’s “belief that we can get things done, and we can get them done if we come together.”
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Her original comments drew criticism from members of the GOP, while other Democrats defended O’Malley Dillon.
“So much healing,” Matt Wolking, a spokesperson for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, tweeted.
Kayleigh McEnany, the White House Press Secretary, was trending on Twitter for her response to the article.
“Biden Campaign Manager called us ‘F***ers’!!!” McEnany shared from her personal Twitter account. “She can try to walk back, but this says volumes about her boss who calls for ‘unity’ while shouting that we are ‘assaulting democracy:’ They think we are deplorable, irredeemable ‘F***ers’. SICK.”
O’Malley Dillon was not referring to the White House in her comments.
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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., posted: “Biden talks about unity and healing, but you want to know what they really think? Read how the person he wants as the next WH deputy chief of staff called Republicans in Congress a bunch of f***ers”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hit back at Rubio for not defending her when Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., accosted her in July on the Capitol steps and called her a “f—— b—-,” according to a reporter who overheard the comment.
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“You stood by in total silence when your GOP colleague called a Congresswoman a “f— b—” on the Capitol steps in front of press,” Ocasio-Cortez replied. She continued: “You weren’t big enough to speak then, & you don’t get to sob now” that “is the right word for those who fleece & scam working families.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who ran against Trump in 2016, slammed Trump supporters and allies for being “offended” by O’Malley Dillon comments.
“People who stood by Donald Trump for the last four years are now claiming to be offended that a Democratic campaign manager used a curse word? I don’t think so,” Clinton tweeted.