Will Biden’s new ‘Republican MAGA’ rhetoric help or hurt Democrats’ November election chances?

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President Biden takes prime time his shots last week targeting “MAGA Republicans” who he says have embraced “semi-fascism” because of their continued loyalty to former President Donald Trump.

The president will deliver a speech on Thursday night where the White House says he will highlight that American democracy remains “under attack” and highlight “who is fighting” to protect the nation’s freedoms. And Biden will deliver his speech at Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park, where the Declaration of Independence and the nation’s constitution were debated and signed.

But the location and timing of the address is telling. The speech, in the crucial general election battleground state of Pennsylvania, comes less than 10 weeks before November’s midterms, when Democrats hope to hold on to their wafer-thin majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate.

Biden’s apparent mission is to change the narrative of the upcoming election by providing voters with a contrast between him and his party and Trump and his loyal legions. But whether the president’s likely strategy will pay off or backfire in a year where inflation remains the main issue will not be determined until November.


President Biden will speak Thursday in Philadelphia on the “attack” on democracy by “Republican MAGAs.” Photographer: Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images
(Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The president’s rhetoric of late has made national headlines and been strongly pushed back by Republicans.

“What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the end of an extreme MAGA philosophy,” Biden told Democratic donors at a rally in Maryland last Thursday. “It’s not just Trump,” he continued, “it’s the whole philosophy behind the — I’ll say something: it’s like semi-fascism.”

At a Democratic National Committee rally that followed that evening, the president said “MAGA Republicans are not just a threat to our personal rights and economic security, they are a threat to our very democracy.”


In a speech Tuesday in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., highlighting his plan to tackle crime and bolster police funding, Biden again took aim at what he claims is the extremism and lawlessness of the extreme right.

“You can’t be pro-law enforcement and pro-insurgency,” the president said, referring to the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by right-wing extremists and other Trump supporters. which disrupted Congressional certification of Biden’s 2020 Electoral College victory over the then-president. “You can’t be a law and order party and call the people who attacked the police on January 6 patriots. You can’t do that.”

President Joe Biden outlines his crime and policing funding plan during a speech at the Arnaud C. Marts Center on the campus of Wilkes University, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

President Joe Biden outlines his crime and policing funding plan during a speech at the Arnaud C. Marts Center on the campus of Wilkes University, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

It’s unclear whether Biden will repeat his sharp jabs in Thursday’s speech, one of the few that Biden has given on the evening since entering the White House more than a year and a half ago. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Wednesday that the president was still working on drafts of his speech with senior advisers.

However, the theme of working to protect the country’s democracy and rule of law has been a common theme for Biden since launching his successful presidential campaign more than three years ago. He has repeatedly noted that seeing the controversial and violent white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 motivated him to make a third run for the White House.


“The MAGA Republicans are the most dynamic part of the Republican Party,” said Jean-Pierre, accusing that they are “an extreme threat to our democracy, to our freedom, to our rights. They simply do not respect the Rule of law.”

Jean-Pierre spoke as a new national poll from Quinnipiac University highlighted that two-thirds of Americans – including nearly seven in ten Democrats and Republicans – think the country’s democracy is in danger of collapsing. .

The president’s attacks, fueled by Trump’s latest comments following the FBI’s Aug. 8 raid of former president Mar-a-Lago’s Florida residence for classified government documents, appear to be an effort to turn the mid-terms of a referendum on record inflation and improving (but still well under water) Biden’s approval ratings into an election of choice between Biden and Trump, and the future of the American democracy.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally for Mehmet Oz for the US Senate

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally for Mehmet Oz for the US Senate
(Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“It’s a very smart way to approach this, because it aligns with who Joe Biden is, to tackle this extreme faction of the Republican that has unfortunately become a bigger faction of the Republican Party over the last few years,” said Chris, a longtime Democratic strategist and broadcaster. Moyer said.

“Former President Trump’s persistence in the news makes him a very ripe target. Trump is always on people’s minds as they prepare to go to the polls in the next two months and there is example after example. of those extreme MAGA Republicans in races across the country, at all levels of the ballot, who are a very good target for President Biden,” Moyer pointed out.


But the Quinnipiac poll, which was taken Aug. 25-29, indicated that inflation – at 27% – remains the top concern for US voters, with no further double-digit issues.

“The president and congressional Democrats are desperate to shift the focus away from their failed economic record and rising inflation,” said veteran Republican consultant Brian Walsh. “The problem is that Americans are reminded of this every time they go to the grocery store or pump gas, where prices are much higher than two years ago.”

Republicans are also targeting the president for his more aggressive language of late, as they contrast it with his longtime preaching of unity between the two major parties.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel argued that “the president’s agenda has pitted neighbors against each other, rewarded the wealthy while punishing working families, and trampled on the rights and freedoms of Americans. Joe Biden is the chief divider and embodies the current state of the Democratic Party: a state of division, disgust and hostility towards half the country. »

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland told Fox News this week that “Joe Biden ran around saying he was going to try to bring the country together and we need to cut back some of the angry rhetoric that is divisive and yet it’s quite divisive, angry rhetoric and name-calling and a bit over the top and so I think that’s a mistake.”


“But I’m getting the electoral advantage and why he’s doing this because he… had a tough run in the midterm elections, and he’s trying to take things away from, I would say, his failed record as a president and the fact that the Democrats, who control everything in Washington, have gone too far to the left,” Hogan said.

“Attacking the right wing of the Republican Party…the MAGA base…it’s probably good policy, but I don’t think it’s the right thing for the country,” the governor added.


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