President Biden on Monday attacked “MAGA” GOP members of Congress in a Labor Day speech in Wisconsin as the president steps up his broadsides against Republicans ahead of the midterms.
“I want to be very clear up front, not every Republican is a MAGA Republican. Not every Republican embraces that extreme ideology,” Biden said at a rally in Milwaukee. “I know because I’ve been able to work with mainstream Republicans in my whole career.”
Biden added: “But the extreme MAGA Republicans in Congress have chosen to go backwards, full of anger, violence, hate and division.”
President Joe Biden delivers a speech in which he attacked Republicans at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 1, 2022. Biden echoed those sentiments in his Labor Day speech on Sept. 5, 2022.
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)
The comments continue a theme from the president punching harder against his political opponents with elections upcoming and Democrats feeling some campaign momentum. Biden recently accused Republicans of embracing “semi-fascism” and delivered a major address in Philadelphia on Thursday, claiming “equality and democracy are under assault” by Republicans.
Biden on Thursday also said that not all Republicans, “not even a majority of Republicans are MAGA Republicans.” But, he said, the GOP overall is “dominated, driven and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans.”
And the president returned to those attacks in Wisconsin again Monday, with a more specific target: vulnerable Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.
President Biden singled out Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., in a Labor Day speech.
(Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
In scathing remarks Biden labeled Johnson as one of the “MAGA Republicans, the far right, the Trumpies,” tying him to some Republicans’ false claims the 2020 election was stolen and to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
“Extreme MAGA Republicans don’t just threaten our personal rights and our economic security. They embrace political violence,” Biden said.
“Sen. Johnson said it was a by and large a peaceful protest,” Biden added of Jan. 6. “Have you seen the video of what happened that day? Listened to the stories of the members from both parties of Congress and the jeopardy they were put in? Cops attacked and assaulted, speared with flag poles, sprayed with mace, stomped down, dragged, brutalized.”
Biden also attacked Johnson over a plan from National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott, R-Fla., which would sunset federal legislation after five years. The president said that would put programs like Medicare and Social Security at risk, and he accused Johnson of wanting to “savage” those programs.
“Read the Republican campaign plan, the Senate campaign they put out this year. Sen. Rick Scott of Florida heads up that committee,” the president said. “They want to require Congress to vote on the future of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid every five years.”
Biden’s barbs come as Democrats believe their road to success in the midterms involves a dual emphasis on social issues, including red states’ abortion laws and voters’ revulsion to former President Donald Trump.
“MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards,” Biden said in his Thursday address, referencing Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. “Backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love.”
Republicans, meanwhile, say soaring inflation and the economy are the key midterm issues. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., attacked Democrats on a litany of issues, including inflation, in an address ahead of Biden’s Thursday speech.
“How many of you can afford to give up one month of your income? I bet not many,” McCarthy said during an appearance north of Philadelphia in Scranton, Pennsylvania. “But if you had a constant salary for the past year, you’ve had more than one month of your income taken away.”
McCarthy added: “Democrats have had total control in Washington. … So, let me ask you this: How have they done?”