President Joe Biden keeps in regular contact with Barack Obama to canvass his opinion on a range of issues, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.
Asked by a reporter whether the former president had visited the White House and if the two speak, Psaki replied both Obama and Biden have a collegiate relationship undefined by the traditional roles of president and vice president – instead, they are “friends.”
“They consult and talk about a range of issues and I would expect that continues through the course of President Biden’s presidency,” Psaki said, a report by Fox News outlined. “That can be done over the phone it turns out, and I think if President Obama had been here, you would all know.”
The closeness of Biden and Obama is no secret in Washington and was publicly aired during the last election campaign.
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign will call up former President Barack Obama to take on President Donald Trump in the final weeks before the election, according to reports. https://t.co/R1N8ghdNYf
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) October 14, 2020
Psaki declined to give an exact number of times the two has spoken, prefering to offer they “keep in regular touch” and their respective teams also were in regular touch “about a range of issues.”
Psaki added given Obama’s work on the Affordable Care Act, which Biden has committed to strengthening and expanding, that is one issue they will talk about.
Fox News reports Biden has tapped a number of individuals who previously served in the Obama administration to join his team, including chief of staff Ron Klain, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Psaki herself was also brought onboard from the Obama days.
Joe Biden announced that Obama administration alumna Jen Psaki would be his press secretary, bypassing his devoted campaign spokesperson and surrogate, Symone Sanders. https://t.co/lvkIFtFpQJ
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) November 30, 2020
Despite the longstanding friendship between the pair, Obama drew interest from the media after he waited until late in the campaign cycle to formally endorse Biden.
That reticence changed once it appeared Biden would claim office, with Obama being quick to add his praise, as Breitbart News reported.
“I know he’ll do the job with the best interests of every American at heart, whether or not he had their vote,” Obama said in a congratulatory statement. “So I encourage every American to give him a chance and lend him your support.”
The former president warned that Biden faced tough challenges after taking office, citing “a raging pandemic, an unequal economy and justice system, a democracy at risk, and a climate in peril.”
He encouraged all supporters of the campaign to stay involved with the fight as active citizens of the country.
“Enjoy this moment. Then stay engaged. I know it can be exhausting,” he said.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 7, 2020
Not that the two have always been on the same page at the same time.
During the campaign Biden announced he and the former president believe Americans have a right to “badakathcare” during a rally in Flint, Michigan.
Biden made the verbal flub as he vowed to restore and build on Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, if elected.
“Donald Trump thinks health care is a privilege, Barack and I think it’s a right to have badakathcare,” he said.
Biden has since signed two executive orders aimed at expanding access to Obamacare.