In advance of the Midterm elections, the president, who ran on bipartisanship, takes off the gloves.
The midterm election season has begun, and the political gloves are off.
President Joe Biden branded Republicans on Wednesday as a group of extremists set on taxing low-income families, jeopardizing popular programs like Social Security, and threatening women’s and LGBTQ rights.
“This MAGA crowd is really the most extreme political organization that’s existed in recent American history,” the president said in remarks at the White House.
His remarks, which were made as part of an event to highlight his administration’s success in cutting the federal deficit, were a departure from his past language while speaking from the White House.
In the midst of entrenched partisanship on Capitol Hill and across the country, Biden – a veteran of more cooperative times in Congress – has gone out of his way to praise individual Republicans for their bipartisan work on legislation, and has repeatedly stated that he is willing to listen to the GOP point of view and work together.
That ended on Wednesday, when Biden, whose Democratic party is facing a difficult election season this year, lashed out at Republicans with sharp objections and warnings about their vision for America.
“Senator Rick Scott of Florida,” who is chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, “released what he called the ultra MAGA agenda. It’s a MAGA agenda alright, Biden said, flipping former President Donald Trump’s signature phrase against him. “It’s extreme, as most MAGA things are.”
“It will actually raise taxes on 75 million American families, over 95% of whom make less than $100,000 a year. Among the hardest hit? Working families,” the president said accusingly.
According to Biden, a campaign strategy plan Scott prepared includes proposals to make all Americans, including low-income ones, pay taxes and to make now-permanent federal programs subject to review every five years.
“Social Security is something seniors have paid into their whole life, and it has to be reauthorized? It has to be reauthorized every five years?” Biden said, tapping what has long been known as the “third rail of politics,” since people old enough to receive Social Security benefits are among the most reliable voters.
“It’s hard to make this up. But then again, it’s a MAGA agenda,” Biden said.
Democrats are facing what appears to be a bleak Election Day in November, with many prognosticators predicting that they will lose their slim House majority due to Democratic retirements and historical trends favoring the party out of power in the White House in midterm elections.
Democrats’ chances of retaining de facto control of the 50-50 Senate are slightly improved, thanks to Republicans’ weak recruiting efforts. Democrats, on the other hand, have limited room for error because they can’t lose a single seat, and critical contests are predicted to be close.
After four chaotic Trump years, Biden, who served in the Senate for 36 years and often recalls the days when Democrats and Republicans worked together as competitor-friends, was determined to return Washington to a more bipartisan time.
This has resulted in several victories, notably a major bipartisan infrastructure bill.
However, Democratic activists have complained in recent months that Biden isn’t tough enough and that he needs to go toe-to-toe with a Republican party that has no qualms about harshly criticizing Biden and painting his fellow Democrats as socialists.
The president’s words on Wednesday morning suggest he shares that viewpoint.
He pointed out that under Trump’s administration, the deficit increased every year, whereas, under the present administration, the deficit decreased by $350 billion and is expected to decrease by another $1.5 trillion this year.
“I don’t want to hear Republicans talk about deficits and their ultra MAGA agenda. I want to hear about fairness. I want to hear about decency,” Biden said, blaming the GOP’s $2 trillion tax cut for both Trump-era deficits and income inequality.
As per Bloomberg, in a response to a question about Tuesday’s bombshell leak of a Supreme Court opinion reversing the Roe v Wade ruling guaranteeing legal abortion, Biden warned that Republicans were after much more – including other “privacy” issues such as contraception, sexual orientation, and identity.
“What happens if you.. change the law, saying children who are LGBTQ can’t be in a classroom with other children. Is that legitimate?” Biden said in a clear reference to a potential 2024 rival, GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“What are the next things that are going to be attacked?” Biden said.
The draft Supreme Court judgment has enraged and inflamed Democrats who are generally pro-abortion rights. While Republicans have hailed the draft as a win for their anti-abortion agenda, they have avoided examining the impact on women.
Americans strongly support Roe v Wade, according to polling, however, support for abortion rights declines when respondents are questioned about late-term procedures.
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Tuesday, refused to discuss the impact of the ruling on the midterm elections, instead urging the media to focus on the true story – the unexpected leak of a Supreme Court draft.
The draught is being used by Democrats to portray Republicans as out of touch and socially extremist. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, has pledged to support legislation codifying the right to abortion, despite the fact that it is unlikely to succeed.
A filibuster attempt is unlikely to succeed. But Schumer and the Democrats will get what they want: a method to put the GOP on the record.