On Sunday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre doubled down on comments made by President Joe Biden in which he attacked “MAGA Republicans,” by calling them extremists.
In a Thursday speech in front of Independence Hall, Biden called former President Donald Trump and his supporters, who he styled as “MAGA Republicans,” as extremists who threaten democracy.
Prior to Biden’s Philadelphia speech, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the president should “apologize for slandering tens of millions of Americans as ‘fascists.’” In an address on Aug. 26, Biden claimed that the GOP philosophy was “semi-fascism.”
“It’s not just Trump,” President Joe Biden said at a Maryland fundraiser, “it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the – I’m going to say something: It’s like semi-fascism.”
On Sunday, MSNBC’s Jonathon Capehart invoked McCarthy’s remark, asking Jean-Pierre if the president “owes half the country an apology.” Jean-Pierre committed to Biden’s comments, telling Capehart that the president was only referring to an “extreme” faction that have taken control of the party.
“The president was very clear, all you have to do, again, folks need to watch his speech, go read his speech if you haven’t. It is powerful, it is impactful and you will hear directly from the commander-in-chief what he was speaking to,” the press secretary said. “And he actually called out, he called out mainstream Republicans, Democrats, Independents to come join him, to help protect, to fight to protect our democracy. So it was about a specific, particular, extreme, extreme part of the party that has taken over.”
The press secretary added that it is essential to protect the values of the nation and of democracy.
“It is up to us in this moment to make sure that we are protecting the values of this country. That’s why he did this speech at this Independence Hall,” she concluded.
The White House has consistently defended Biden’s attacks on “MAGA Republicans.” At Wednesday’s press briefing, Jean-Pierre called “MAGA Republicans” an “extremist threat to our democracy” and promised that the president will continue to spread that message.
“The president thinks that there is an extremist threat to our democracy,” she said. “The president has been clear as he can be on that particular piece when we talk about our democracy, when we talk about our freedoms. The way that he sees the MAGA Republicans are the most energized part of the Republican Party. This is an extreme threat to our democracy, to our freedom, to our rights. They just don’t respect the rule of law.”
The next day, Jean-Pierre made the argument that anyone who disagreed with the “majority of Americans” was “extreme”
“Here’s what I’ll say,” Jean-Pierre said. “We continue to see attacks on people’s fundamental rights, right? Of Americans with new abortion laws across the country. And when you have national Republicans who are leaders in their political party, who sit in office, who say that they want to take away the rights, even in case of incest and in case of rape, and taking away a woman’s right to make a decision on her body.”
“That’s extreme, and the president’s going to call that out,” she continued. “He’s going to continue to do everything that he can to make sure that we protect people’s freedoms. He’s going to do everything that he can to call that out. And that is important to call out, that is important to talk about.”
“And again, we see [a] majority of Americans who disagree, and so when you are not with where a majority of Americans are, then that is extreme, that is an extreme way of thinking,” Jean-Pierre concluded.
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