President Joe Biden has claimed he ran for office to “unite the country” just days after he compared Republicans and even some Democratic senators to racists.
“I ran for president to unite the country,” Biden said during a speech on his video shot in front of the White House about the importance of infrastructure spending.
On Tuesday, Biden angrily denounced the Senate, calling it “a shell of itself” for blocking legislation that would federalize state and local elections and open elections to potential fraud.
Biden said senators who oppose the federal law choose the side of historical racists.
Do you want to side with Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?
Biden chastised the Senate for refusing to eliminate Senate filibuster rules to pass the legislation, a step that even some moderate Democrats do not oppose.
Republicans reacted to the speech angrily, calling out Biden for his divisive rhetoric.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) slammed Biden, noting that he “accused a number of my good and principled colleagues in the Senate of having sinister, even racist inclinations” and said the president had indicated that he was not interested in “unifying the country”. with his rhetoric.
Senator Mitch McConnell ripped Biden’s speech as a “rant” that was “incorrect, incoherent and below his desk.”
On Thursday, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) upstaged Biden by speaking in the Senate to denounce his plan to end the filibuster, just minutes before he arrived on Capitol Hill to make his case to Democrats.
Even Senator Dick Durbin admitted that “maybe the president went a little too far in his rhetoric” in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki suggested that critics of Biden’s speech were not acting “on the level” by saying the president called his political opponents racists.
“He wasn’t comparing them as humans, he was comparing the choice to these characters in the story,” she said.