The White House on Monday said officials have not pushed corporations to take specific actions like sanctioning states, several days after President Joe Biden voiced his support for Major League Baseball (MLB) moving its All-Star game from Georgia in retaliation for a new voting reform law.
“We’ve not asked corporations to take specific actions. That’s not our focus here. Our focus is on continuing to convey that it’s important that voting is easier, not harder; that when there are laws in place that make it harder, we certainly express an opposition to those laws,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.
Last week, Biden said he would “strongly support” a discussion on moving the game.
Psaki read the transcript from Biden’s interview before alleging he “was not dictating what Major League Baseball should do, dictating they should move the All-Star game.”
“That is—was their decision. They made that decision. And as he stated earlier, he certainly supports that,” she added.
Psaki was then asked whether Biden would support the PGA, a professional golf league, moving the Masters Tournament, which is set to start this week, from Georgia.
“I’m not here to call for anyone, on behalf of the president or the vice president or anyone, to take steps in reaction to the law in Georgia. The president was asked a direct question, and the context of the question was also around the league meeting to discuss this exact issue, and he answered the question,” she said.
She declined to say whether he would support golfers if they got together and decided not to participate in the tournament as a way to protest against the new law.
Another question dealt with the economic impact on Georgia of losing the MLB game. Cobb County estimates it will lose $100 million from not having the game in Atlanta. Did Biden think about that before coming out in support of the move?
“Again, he was doing an interview. He was given the context, as I just read out to you in full detail, of how the question was asked, and he answered the question,” Psaki said.
Cecilia Rouse, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, said Sunday that “there is undoubtedly going to be a cost” to moving the game.
“I think that was the point that Major League Baseball was trying to make. Major League Baseball will, however, move its game and workers and another place will benefit,” she added.
The new election law reforms election rules, such as barring election boards from taking funding from outside the government and prohibiting the sending of mail-in ballots unless the person or an authorized relatives requests it. The bill also requires counties offer two voting days on Saturdays and lets them offer two Sundays to vote.
Psaki on Monday was pressed again on Biden stating falsely that the law required polls to close at 5 p.m. She again declined to correct the record, arguing his overall point was the law makes it harder to vote, including more difficult to request and return an absentee ballot.