White House defends half of America as ‘semi-fascist’, ‘terrorists’ despite Biden’s unity pledge

White House defends half of America as ‘semi-fascist’, ‘terrorists’ despite Biden’s unity pledge

White House defends half of America as ‘semi-fascist’, ‘terrorists’ despite Biden’s unity pledge

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White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was repeatedly asked on Thursday to answer President Biden who likened former President Trump’s “extreme MAGA philosophy” to “semi-fascism”.

When asked on Thursday whether the Biden administration was concerned it would fuel the divisions the president was ostensibly trying to heal, Jean-Pierre said Biden “will never shy away from shouting what he sees.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks at the daily briefing at the White House in Washington on Thursday, September 1, 2022.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks at the daily briefing at the White House in Washington on Thursday, September 1, 2022.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Jean-Pierre tried to make it clear that Biden’s criticism was aimed at “those extreme MAGA Republicans, those in office”.

“We understand that we touch a nerve. We understand that,” said Jean-Pierre. “We understand that they are trying to hide, and we understand that ultra-MAGA office owners want to play games here and avoid responsibility for their extreme proposals and actions.”

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The briefing preceded a scheduled speech by President Biden at Independence Hall later Thursday, where he is expected to raise the alarm about what he sees as “extremist” threats to American democracy, taking a sharp turn from his inaugural address in which he preached national preaching. unit.

Republicans see the ramped-up rhetoric as further evidence that the White House does not represent most Americans. Minority leader Kevin McCarthy told FOX on Thursday, “The problem with Joe Biden is that he doesn’t understand the soul of America.”

A reporter asked Jean-Pierre what Biden’s message would be to Americans who still considered themselves Republicans or supported former President Trump.

Jean-Pierre said what was meant by “extremism” targeted a “very small segment of the American public” and a “very small segment of MAGA Republicans in Congress”.

President Biden speaks on the campus of Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on August 30, 2022.

President Biden speaks on the campus of Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on August 30, 2022.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Fox News correspondent Mark Meredith later asked Jean-Pierre what percentage of the 74 million people who voted for Trump in the 2020 election the White House considered extremists.

“I’m talking specifically about MAGA branch managers. That’s what we’re talking about,” Jean-Pierre said again. “We are talking about MAGA officials who have put forward an extreme agenda.”

With “extreme,” Jean-Pierre clarified that she intended to cut taxes on billionaires and corporations and call for a national abortion ban.

“That’s an extreme agenda that doesn’t align with where a majority of Americans are,” Jean-Pierre said. “[I]If you look at the items I just mentioned, a majority of Americans don’t support what the MAGA Republicans are doing in Congress.”

Jean-Pierre also said, “If you’re not with the majority of Americans, you know that’s extreme. That’s extreme thinking.”

According to a Quinnipiac poll released Thursday, Biden’s approval rating hovers around 40%, up from his dismal 33% approval rating in July.

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Biden’s trip to Philadelphia is just one of three trips to Pennsylvania within a week, a sign of the state’s importance during the midterm elections with competitive races for the Senate and governor. Trump is planning a rally this weekend in Scranton, Biden’s hometown.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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