While President Joe Biden backed Major League Baseball’s decision to protest Georgia’s new voter registration laws by moving the All-Star Game out of the state, he’s taking a different tack when it comes to the sport of golf.
The moment: Biden on Tuesday told a reporter at a news briefing that moving the Masters was not his decision to make.
- “I think that’s up to the Masters,” the president said.
- “It is reassuring to see that for-profit operations and businesses are speaking up about how these new Jim Crow laws are just antithetical to who we are,” Biden added. “The other side of it is, when they in fact move out of Georgia, the people who need the help the most — the people who are making hourly wages — sometimes get hurt the most.”
- The president also said that it was “a very tough decision for a corporation to make” and that “the best way to deal with this is for Georgia and other states to smarten up.”
The reaction: Biden’s critics, especially on the right, responded by accusing the president of hypocrisy.
- “They’re realizing they’re going too far. Keep reminding them of it,” tweeted Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro.
- GOP spokesman Paris Dennard said if Biden had “felt that the Masters should not move out of Georgia he would have said no when asked.”
- “So if they do move, Biden just said he supports and respects it knowing these GA boycotts will hurt Black business owners, familes & workers,” Dennard tweeted. “This is really weak leadership!”
Context: Biden told ESPN in a March 31 interview that he would “strongly support” the Summer Classic’s relocation from Atlanta.
- The league announced Monday it would be holding the game at Coors Field in Denver, despite Colorado laws some Republicans claim are similarly restrictive to Georgia’s, which were sparked by Republicans’ concerns regarding electoral fraud and transparency.
- Biden’s moderate statement regarding the Masters may reflect pushback from Georgia Democrats about the boycott, which some have said may hurt their constituents economically.
- “I respect boycotts, although I don’t want to see Georgia families hurt by lost events and jobs,” Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams wrote in a Friday statement.