White House press secretary Jen Psaki has been mocked for trying to backtrack on President Biden’s widely criticized speech linking political opponents to Democratic-backed ballot bills on Capitol Hill to segregationists the most infamous in the country.
At Friday’s press conference, Fox News’ Peter Doocy grilled Psaki over Biden’s inflammatory remarks made in Atlanta attacking those who did not support the passage of legislation seen by conservatives as a complete liberal overhaul of the way whose elections are held at the national level.
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“Talk about a year ago and work with Republicans, now he’s talking about Republicans who disagree with suffrage — he describes them as George Wallace, Bull Connor and Jefferson Davis,” Doocy said. “What happened to the guy who, when he was elected, said, ‘To progress, we have to stop treating our adversaries as our enemies?'”
“I think anyone who listens to this speech and speaks at the level, as my mother would say, would notice that he was not comparing them as humans,” Psaki replied. “He was comparing choice to these characters in the story and where they’re going to stand in determining whether they’re going to support the basic right to vote or not.
Critics took to Twitter and slammed the White House’s efforts to cancel the president’s speech.
“I hate it when I accidentally compare my dear friends to George Wallace/Bull Connor/Jeff Davis and my friends immediately express their outrage and it takes me 3 days to explain that I didn’t really mean what I said,” said said National Review correspondent John McCormick. sarcastically written.
“That’s right, he specifically mentioned all the names of these humans to avoid making an absolutely, very plausible ‘human’ comparison,” political commentator Drew Holden said at the White House.
“Joe Biden was not making human comparisons when comparing humans,” Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy also tweeted.
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“Absurd backpedaling = they saw the ballot,” said former deputy treasury secretary Monica Crowley.
Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saavedra also cited the polls as writing “33% and sinking,” referring to recent data from Quinnipiac showing devastating job endorsement for Biden.
“She’s so bad at it. I love it!” Substack writer Jim Treacher hit out at the publicist.
“The damage is done… what a dismal failure,” wrote Matt Vespa, Townhall.com editor.
Many critics felt that Biden’s speech on Tuesday did little to advance his electoral reform agenda. The Atlanta event was politically overshadowed by the absence of Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, whom Biden suggested he couldn’t attend due to a scheduling confusion. Still, Abrams’ absence was telling as the rising Democratic star has made suffrage her key issue since her first gubernatorial loss in 2018, which she never officially conceded.
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The president’s fiery rhetoric may have won over some members of his liberal base, but even some top Democrats have openly criticized him for going overboard with his attacks.
“Maybe the president went a little too far in his rhetoric,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. said in an interview on Wednesday. “Some of us do, but the fundamentals and values at stake are very similar.”