Biden quickly regrets making news on abortion at press conference: 'I shouldn't have answered your question'

President Biden made news when he said he wasn't confident in codifying abortion rights legislation Monday, but he seemed to regret doing it, telling a reporter he "shouldn't have answered" his question.

At the end of a solo press conference in Indonesia, after Biden took pre-planned questions from several reporters, NBC's Peter Alexander shouted out whether Americans could expect anything in Congress "as it relates to abortion rights."

"I don’t think they can expect much of anything other than we’re going to maintain our positions. I’m not getting into more questions. I shouldn’t have even answered your question," Biden said. 

Biden, who has done far fewer solo press conferences and interviews than his predecessors, is known for having a list of reporters to call on, but Alexander wasn't on it.

Biden added Monday that there likely not enough votes to codify abortion rights, as Republicans appear poised to take narrow control of the House of Representatives in this year's midterms.

"I don’t think there’s enough votes to codify unless something happens unusual in the House," Biden said. "I think we’re going to get very close in the House… but I don’t think we’re going to make it."

One of Biden's handlers then shouted down remaining questions as Biden left the podium.

Biden also praised the results of the midterms, where Democrats exceeded expectations by retaining control of the U.S. Senate, and could even expand their majority if Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., wins his runoff next month against Republican Herschel Walker.

Democrats have credited their push on abortion rights in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade for their better-than-expected showing, and Biden pledged last month to ask Congress to codify abortion rights federally if they held their majorities. Voters across the country voted in favor of ballot initiatives protecting abortion access last week, from California to Montana to Michigan.

However, although there are still several races with outstanding vote counts, Republicans appear likely to squeak out a majority in the lower chamber. 

Biden took questions after a high-stakes meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, where the two discussed issues like Taiwan's status and human rights. According to the readout of their conversation, they did not discuss the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in Wuhan, China.