President Biden on Wednesday seemed to publicly urge Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., to run for senate– a gesture that seemed to even surprise the congresswoman.

Biden was at a bill signing and was joined by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, D-Ill.; and Waters. A video from the event showed Biden turn to Garcia and then to Waters. He shook their hand.

“Senator, I hope,” he said, as he looked as Waters. The 82-year-old representative seemed to play off the comment as a joke and patted him on the back. Biden turns away and said, “You think I’m kidding, I’m not.”

The Republican National Committee seized on the comment and questioned the president’s true desire for bipartisanship.”Joe Biden suggests he wants far-left, anti-police Maxine Waters to become a U.S. Senator,” RNC Research tweeted.

The New York Post pointed out that Waters would have to face Sen. Alex Padilla, who was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom when Vice President Kamala Harris left for Washington, D.C. Padilla has indicated that he intends to defend his seat.The White House and Waters’ office did not immediately respond

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