White House insists Biden’s Philadelphia speech is ‘not political’

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed on Thursday that President Biden’s prime-time speech on ‘the battle for the soul of the nation’ is ‘not a political speech’ — while promising he would hit out at former President Donald Trump’s Republican allies.

Biden will ‘call out what’s happening right now’ and target ‘MAGA incumbents,’ Jean-Pierre said as she fended off reporters’ questions about whether the speech would be divisive rather than unifying .

The 8 p.m. speech in Philadelphia, which will be broadcast live by many television stations, will feature Biden speaking “about what we can do, can be done now to repel the forces that threaten – that threaten us” , Jean-Pierre said during his regular briefing.

But the press secretary argued that there was nothing political about the rare primetime speech and that it does not conflict with Biden’s 2020 campaign vow to seek the political unity between Republicans and Democrats.

“There is a growing number of people who refuse to accept the results of free and fair elections, people who talk openly about subverting elections in the future,” Jean-Pierre said. “It’s not a speech where he’s going to tell people to vote for one party or the other.

“He’s going to talk about uniting the people of this country who believe in equality and democracy.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has insisted that President Biden’s prime-time speech will not be a “political speech”.
Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images

“Is tonight a political speech?” asked Reuters reporter Jeff Mason.

“No, this is not a political speech. This is another opportunity for the president to have a direct conversation with the American people,” said Jean-Pierre.

“Look, he’s going to talk about – of course, he’s going to talk about the importance of engagement. He’s going to talk about voter turnout. But this is a talk about a — a much broader topic: what it means to be a democracy and what it means to participate in our democracy.

Mason followed, noting that some defenders “on the left are very happy with the more aggressive tone they are seeing from the president,” but that Biden “faces criticism” that “the aggressive tone is also fueling the division that ‘he’s trying to heal.’

Jean-Pierre claimed that Biden would focus on "unite the people of this country" in his speech.
Jean-Pierre claimed that Biden would focus on “uniting the peoples of this country” in his speech.
Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

“The president will never hesitate to shout what he sees,” replied Jean-Pierre.

“We understand that we have touched a sensitive chord. We understand that. We understand that they are trying to hide, and we understand that the ultra-MAGA leaders want to play games here and dodge responsibility for their extreme proposals and actions,” she continued.

“But they only speak for themselves. Look, the president has always targeted his criticism at elected officials. It’s about what they do in Congress, these extreme MAGA Republicans who are, who hold office.

Last week, the president said support for his predecessor, who openly eyes a run for the White House in 2024, amounts to ‘semi-fascism’, while Republican leaders slammed Biden for what they have called an attack on the 74 million Americans who voted for Trump in 2020.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was scheduled to deliver a pre-rebuttal to Biden’s speech from Scranton, Pa., earlier Thursday night.

“President Biden has chosen to divide, belittle and denigrate his fellow Americans – simply because they disagree with his policies,” read the remarks prepared by McCarthy.

“When the President speaks tonight at Independence Hall, the first lines of his mouth should be to apologize for slandering tens of millions of Americans by calling them ‘fascists,'” they add. .

Jean-Pierre on Thursday avoided a reporter’s inquiry into whether Biden will mention Trump or Republican politicians by name or whether he will also berate far-left extremism.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will deliver a rebuttal speech from Scranton, Pennsylvania.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will deliver a rebuttal speech from Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Photo by SHAWN THEW/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Biden will focus on “the extreme part of the Republican Party – and we’re talking about [how] they want a national ban on abortion. They want to give tax cuts to billionaires and corporations while raising taxes on middle-class Americans. They threaten political violence and they attack our democracy,” she said.

“And so the president is going to take this time to talk to the American people who – the majority agrees with him – and talk about, you know, how can we continue to fight for our democracy and do it in an optimistic way. ”

“I’ve said it before, the president will never hesitate to talk about his predecessor,” Jean-Pierre also said. “But this is not a speech about the former president or a single politician or a political party.”

Another reporter noted that Jean-Pierre mentioned “Biden’s concern about this Republican MAGA, this extremist agenda, and that’s something he’s going to talk about tonight. How is it not a political speech?

“He will not hesitate in the face of the extremism that we see today,” replied the press officer. “But, again, there is a broader component of discourse.”

NBC reporter Kelly O’Donnell asked Jean-Pierre if there was anything in the speech intended to appeal to Americans who “can still support the former president,” but Jean-Pierre hesitated.

“When we talk about extremism, we are talking about a very small part, component of the American public. Okay?” she said. “We’re talking about a very small component of MAGA Republicans in Congress, that’s something they believe in, isn’t it? But we know the president believes and is optimistic that there are many, many Americans who want to continue to make sure we stand up for our democracy.

New York Post

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button