President Joe Biden condemned activists cornering Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in a bathroom over the weekend and filming the encounter but dismissed the tactics as common and "part of the process."
“I don’t think they’re appropriate tactics, but it happens to everybody,” Biden said of the people who confronted Sinema on Sunday. “The only people it doesn’t happen to is people who have Secret Service standing around them. It’s part of the process.”
In the video, activists from Living United For Change urged Sinema, a lecturer at Arizona State University’s School of Social Work, to support Biden’s Build Back Better plan, a sweeping social spending proposal that Democrats aim to pass through the budget reconciliation process. The legislation needs every Democratic vote to pass, including Sinema’s.
The senator is under pressure from Democratic groups over her opposition to the $3.5 trillion price tag of Biden’s plan. Sinema met with Biden to discuss the bill last week but has not committed to supporting it.
In a statement on Monday, Sinema criticized the ambush, which also captured her students on camera.
“After deceptively entering a locked, secure building, these individuals filmed and publicly posted videos of my students without their permission — including footage taken both my students and I using a restroom,” Sinema said.
“Yesterday’s behavior was not legitimate protest,” she added. “It is unacceptable for activist organizations to instruct their members to jeopardize themselves by engaging in unlawful activities such as gaining entry to closed university buildings, disrupting learning environments, and filming students in a restroom.”
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Original Author: Katherine Doyle