Biden shuts down 2020 election heckler at campaign launch: ‘Ignorance knows no boundaries’

Heckler claimed 2020 election was stolen

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Friday 26 August 2022 08:17 BST
Biden shuts down heckler who claims 2020 election was stolen

Joe Biden had sharp words for a heckler who interrupted a midterm fundraiser and rally in Maryland on Thursday night.

Witnesses said a man interrupted the president’s speech at Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland, yelling, “You stole the election!

The outburst prompted a rain of boos from the crowd, and the president said, “Let him go,” and “That’s OK,” before offering a comeback.

“Folks, ignorance knows no boundaries, but we never gave up,” Mr Biden said to applause. “We never gave in, and we’re delivering for the American people.”

The president’s remarks touted the Democrats’ legislative achievements on infrastructure, climate, and guns, but it also addressed his views of the politics of the current Republican party, which often sound similar to the claims of the stolen election from the heckler.

“What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy,” Mr Biden said. “It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something, it’s like semi-fascism.”

“I respect conservative Republicans,” he added later, but drew a distinction between them and “MAGA Republicans.”

Observers say they’re feeling good about Mr Biden and the Democratic party at large’s fighting spirit in recent days, after a tough summer of inflation and high gas prices.

Pollster John Anzalone told The Associated Press on Thursday the Democrats are “in a better position to compete because Joe Biden put us there.”

“It doesn’t mean that the wind’s at our back,” he added. “But we have more of a breeze than what felt like a gale hurricane in our face.”

The White House has been similarly sharp-elbowed when it comes to defending the president’s student loan forgiveness programme.

The Biden administration called out congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene on Thursday, after the Georgia Republican criticised the debt plan as unfair despite getting more than $183,000 in federal loan forgiveness herself.

Ms Greene has been a vocal critic of the president’s plan to forgive up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt, dismissing it as an unfair policy and a partisan ploy because Democrats “need votes in November.”

“For our government just to say, well OK, your debt is completely forgiven, obviously they have an agenda for that,” she said in a recent appearance on Newsmax. “They need votes in November so the timing is pure coincidence there as well. It’s completely unfair.”

On Thursday, the White House noted in a tweet that Ms Greene herself received $183,504 in federal loan forgiveness as part of the pandemic-inspired Paycheck Protection Program, which she used for funds for her construction company, according to public records.

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