As Democrats head into a midterm election season that is likely to deliver a GOP majority in one or both chambers of Congress, President Joe Biden is once again on the campaign trail in an effort to convince members of his party to head to the polls.
In making his case that Republicans should not be trusted with the reins of power in D.C., he resorted to using stark rhetoric during remarks at a fundraising event in Maryland on Thursday.
Repeatedly referencing “MAGA” — the popular acronym used by former President Donald Trump to mean “Make America Great Again” — as a pejorative, Biden accused supporters of the conservative ideology of harboring fascistic tendencies.
“What we’re seeing now is the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy,” he 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.”
Although the remark appeared to resonate in a room packed with Democrats, his divisive language was almost immediately denounced by conservatives far and wide.
Yes, nothing says you are against semi-fascism quite like unilaterally erasing hundreds of billions of dollars in debt just months after saying you couldn't under the Constitution https://t.co/UrxTkdC31E
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 25, 2022
Nathan Brand, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, called the comment “despicable” in a statement that went on to call Biden’s presidential record into question.
“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,” he wrote. “Democrats don’t care about suffering Americans — they never did.”
In a Fox News Channel appearance, longtime GOP political consultant Karl Rove described Biden’s comment as a sign of desperation.
“He went to Montgomery County, Maryland to a Democratic National Committee fundraiser and basically said everything against what he had said in his inauguration address,” Rove told host Jesse Waters. “The pledge he made to unite the country he threw it in the trash bin. Why did he want to do that? He wants to win in this election and is willing to say and do anything in order to achieve his purpose.”
Going on to recite Trump’s record of cutting taxes, securing the border, rebuilding the military, restoring law and order, and working toward energy independence, a clearly incredulous Rove asked: “That’s a semi-fascist philosophy?”