President Biden used his prime-time address on Thursday to lay into former President Trump—by name—as well as "MAGA Republicans." He labeled both as "extreme" and as serious threats to American democracy. The New York Times notes that aides suggested ahead of time that Biden might not actually name Trump in his speech, but he did so multiple times. Biden also sought to draw a distinction between MAGA Republicans and more moderate members of the GOP, or "mainstream Republicans," as he called them. Some key lines, reaction:
- “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic," Biden said, per the AP.
- “MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards,” he said. “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.”
- "Equality and democracy are under assault," he said.
- “History tells us that blind loyalty to a single leader and a willingness to engage in political violence is fatal to democracy,” said the president, per the Washington Post.
- Criticism: Former Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted: "Biden officially announces his presidency is about portraying half the country as 'threats to the very foundation of our Republic' and a 'clear and present danger to democracy.' This is how he characterizes 'MAGA Republicans.'"
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