In his sternest denunciations of Republicans to date, Joe Biden has excoriated his predecessor Donald Trump’s core Maga philosophy as “semi-fascism” and declared that the extremeright are committed to “destroying America”.
Mr Biden made the remarks as he hit the midterm campaign trail in earnest for the first time, tearing into pro-Trump Republicans at a closed-door Democratic fundraiser and in a fiery speech in Maryland.
“What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of extreme Maga philosophy,” Mr Biden said to a group of assembled party donors. “It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something, it’s like semi-fascism.”
His comparison of some Republicans to fascism drew the ire of GOP leaders who were quick to hit back at Mr Biden’s comment.
In a furious statement, Republican National Committee spokesperson Nathan Brand condemned Mr Biden’s comments as “despicable.”
“Biden forced Americans out of their jobs, transferred money from working families to Harvard lawyers, and sent our country into a recession while families can’t afford gas and groceries. Democrats don’t care about suffering Americans - they never did,” he said.
Later in the day, Mr Biden addressed a crowd of 2,400 supporters at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, where he touted the success of his administration which he claimed took key actions on the climate crisis, gun control, jobs and the Covid pandemic and slammed the “burn-it-all-down politics” of his opponents.
“I respect conservative Republicans. I don’t respect these Maga Republicans,” he said. “There are not many real Republicans anymore.”
“The Maga Republicans don’t just threaten our personal rights and economic security. They’re a threat to our very democracy. They refuse to accept the will of the people. They embrace political violence. They don’t believe in democracy.”
He also touched upon some conservatives’ calls for a national abortion ban, and promised that the overturning of Roe v Wade and its implications would drive women voters to the polls in November
“Maga Republicans don’t have a clue about the power of women. Let me tell you something: They are about to find out.”
His comments come as a Fox News poll this week showed Democrats are as motivated as Republicans for the midterm elections in November, a shift from previous polling.
He kicked off the campaign trail as Democrats injected fresh hope across the party following several legislative victories in August.
The party has passed a slew of bills this summer, including new gun safety laws, legislation to help veterans suffering the effects of exposure to toxic burn pits, the Inflation Reduction Act – an ambitious measure to reduce inflation, lower prescription drug prices, and tackle the climate crisis – and most recently, the cancellation of student loan debt.
Celebrating the victories, he said, “This year, the American people won and the climate deniers lost” – and that students are “learning how to read and write in school instead of learning how to duck and cover”.
Mr Biden’s approval ratings have been in dire territory since the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer, but have shown signs of recovery in recent weeks.
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