ROME (Fwrd Axis) — President Joe Biden reflected on the progress that America made with other world leaders at the G-20 Summit in Italy on Sunday, taking a shot at Russia and China in the process as the two-day event wrapped.
Biden marked the end of the event with his first solo press conference in four months. He slammed China and Russia for not showing up to the event and called the meetings over the past five days “productive”. The President touted American leadership and hopes to continue that as he heads to Glasgow for the climate summit.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to make progress on critical global issues as we head off to Glasgow because of what we’ve seen again here in Rome, what I think is the power of America showing up and working with our allies and partners to make progress on issues that matter to all of us,” Biden said.
Biden said the G-20 leaders had made “tangible progress” on shared challenges including climate change. The President was asked about some climate experts expressing G-20 climate commitments had not gone far enough.
“The disappointment relates to the fact that Russia and China basically didn’t show up,” Biden responded.
Biden also expressed confidence that his agenda will pass back home. His infrastructure and social safety net bills are still being debated in Congress and reports over the weekend say a vote could come as soon as Tuesday.
The President also expressed his pleasure with the in-person meetings with the world leaders.
“There’s really no substitute for face-to-face discussions and negotiations among the leaders when it comes to building understanding and cooperation,” Biden said. “When you’re looking at someone straight in the eye when you’re trying to get done — they know me, I know them, we can get things done together.”
Several of the commitments Biden made at the G20 will rely on Congress’ approval. For example, in order for the minimum tax on corporations endorsed by world leaders to be implemented in the United States, it will require Congressional action.
Biden’s press conference wrapped up the first leg of his trip through Europe. He will travel to Glasgow, Scotland on Monday for the United Nations Climate Summit. The President arrived in Rome and worked to mend the relationships with key allies, including France, who were with the U.S. and Australia for the purchase of nuclear-powered submarines.
French President Emmanuel Macron and Biden met on Friday, where the President called the move on the part of the U.S. “clumsy”.
While Biden is overseas, his agenda is stalling back home in the states. Both his bipartisan infrastructure bill and his social safety net bill are in limbo, resulting in Americans feeling like he’s getting nothing done. His domestic approval rating has dropped to 42 percent in the latest NBC News poll and sits at 43 percent on FiveThirtyEight’s average.
“The polls are going to up and down and up and down,” Biden said. “Every other president, the same thing has happened. But that’s not why I ran, I didn’t run to determine how well I would do in the polls.”