President Biden repeatedly slammed Donald Trump and ‘MAGA Republicans’ in an overtly political primetime speech that the White House billed as ‘the battle for the soul of the nation’ – a speech ignored by all major TV channels and broadcast by only two cable channels.
With a heckler relentlessly shouting “F–k Joe Biden” throughout the 24-minute speech, the president called “MAGA Republicans” and supporters of his predecessor and potential 2024 rival Donald Trump a threat to “the republic “.
“Too much of what is happening in our country today is not normal. Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,” Biden said on foot from Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
“There is no doubt that the Republican Party today is dominated, led and bullied by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans. And that is a threat to this country.
“They have the right to be outrageous. This is a democracy,” Biden said about 20 minutes into his speech as the heckling continued, audible on the official White House video feed.
“Good manners are nothing they ever suffered from,” he cracked.
The speech was broadcast live by a few television stations. Only CNN and MSNBC broadcast the remarks live. ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS, Fox News and Fox Business did not air it.
Biden spoke after his press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters during an afternoon briefing that “this is not political speech” and that “he is going to talk about unite the people of this country who believe in equality and democracy”.
But Biden set aside this claim to stay away from politics by mentioning Trump by name three times and his political movement MAGA – or Make America Great Again – 12 times.
“MAGA Republicans have made their choice. They embrace anger. They thrive on chaos. They do not live in the light of truth, but in the shadow of lies. Together we can choose a different path,” Biden said.
The commander-in-chief spoke to a military band and a crowd of supporters saying Republicans were plotting to manipulate the election in their favor.
“They are working right now, as I speak, state after state to empower supporters and cronies to decide elections in America, allowing election deniers to undermine democracy itself,” Biden insisted.
“I will not sit idly by and watch elections in this country being stolen by people who simply refuse to accept that they have lost. I will not sit idly by and watch his country’s most fundamental freedom — the freedom to vote and have your vote count — be taken away from you and the American people.
The juxtaposition of the military in the speech even drew a reprimand from a CNN host.
“Whatever you think of this speech, the army is supposed to be apolitical. Positioning uniformed Marines behind President Biden for a political speech goes against that. It’s wrong when Democrats do it. It’s wrong when Republicans do it,”
Whatever you think of this speech the military is supposed to be apolitical. Positioning Marines in uniform behind President Biden for a political speech flies in the face of that. It’s wrong when Democrats do it. It’s wrong when Republicans do it.— Brianna Keilar (@brikeilarcnn) September 2, 2022
Biden insisted that “MAGA Republicans” watched with affection the violence of a host of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol to disrupt the certification of his election victory – despite the fact that almost all Republicans elected officials condemned the assault.
“They look at the crowd that stormed the United States Capitol on January 6, brutally attacking law enforcement, not as insurgents who put a dagger to the throat of our democracy. But they see them as patriots,” Biden said.
“And they see their MAGA failure to stop a peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 elections as preparation for the 2022 and 2024 elections. They tried everything last time to nullify the votes of 81 million people. This time, they are determined to succeed in thwarting the will of the people.
Biden continued, “Democracy cannot survive when one side thinks there are only two total outcomes. Either they win or they were cheated. And that’s where MAGA Republicans are today.
“I won’t stand there watching – I won’t [let] the will of the American people be subverted by outlandish conspiracy theories, baseless and unsubstantiated claims and frauds. I will not sit here watching the elections in this country, stolen by people who simply refuse to accept that they have lost,” he said.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy delivered his own speech about two hours earlier from Biden’s birthplace of Scranton, Penn., and accused the president of waging his own “assault on democracy.” ”.
“Joe Biden and Big Tech have colluded to silence your free speech and mute your voice on the world’s biggest communications platforms. This is an attack on democracy,” McCarthy said.
“Joe Biden and his Department of Justice have called concerned parents who speak out at school board meetings domestic terrorists. It is an attack on democracy.” he added. “Joe Biden unilaterally rewrote the immigration laws of the United States, defying Congress and the Constitution that binds us all. It is an attack on democracy. »
“Joe Biden’s government has shielded his family and his administration from accountability for his son’s abuses of power and foreign dealings for personal gain. This is an attack on our democracy,” McCarthy continued. “Joe Biden and the politicized Department of Justice launched a raid on the home of his main political rival, Donald Trump. It is an attack on democracy. »
Although bashing Trump and his allies took up most of the attention, Biden briefly explained why voters should support the Democrats instead.
“I give you my word as Biden that I’ve never been more optimistic about America’s future,” Biden said.
“We are going to end cancer as we know it, mark my words. We will create millions of new jobs and the economy. We will think big to make the 21st century another American century.
“This is where we need to focus our energy on the past, not on divisive culture wars, a politics of grievance, but on a future we can build together,” Biden said. MAGA Republicans believe that to succeed, everyone must fail.
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