Biden attempts to reverse course following divisive anti-MAGA speech, says Trump supporters aren’t a ‘threat’ to nation

President Joe Biden on Thursday delivered a dark and divisive and highly political speech in which he launched a flurry of sharp rhetorical attacks against former President Donald Trump and all who support him and labeled them as violent extremist threats against the nation and democracy more broadly.

The backlash was immediate and intense, however, and by Friday morning Biden was already attempting to walk back and more narrowly clarify his polarizing remarks from the night before against those Americans who voted in support of Trump, Breitbart reported.

Now, in a direct contradiction of the fundamental message underlying Thursday’s big primetime speech, Biden said Friday, “I don’t consider any Trump supporter to be a threat to the country.”

Naming and shaming his political enemies

Thursday evening, flanked by U.S. Marines in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, President Biden delivered his overtly partisan speech on the “continued battle for the soul of the nation” — a battle in which the named enemy was former President Trump and those who support him.

“Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,” Biden said, and though he seemed to excuse “mainstream Republicans” from his verbal assault, he emphasized, “But there is no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven, and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to this country.”

He proceeded to hurl all sorts of negative accusations against “MAGA Republicans” and the “extreme MAGA ideology” as being angry and violent and antithetical to the very foundational ideals and norms that undergird the nation and society.

The speech quite clearly demonized and dehumanized Biden’s political opposition and served, for all intents and purposes, as a clarion call for ideological war amongst the American people.

A dodge and a walk back amid fierce criticism

Social media, and even some in mainstream media, were aghast at President Biden’s divisive message singling out and damning the mere existence of a substantial portion of the American citizenry, and that swift backlash may have prompted the president to try and reverse course on his remarks Friday morning.

Following remarks and a discussion with other officials about investments stemming from Biden’s American Rescue Plan, a reporter bluntly asked, “Mr. President, do you consider all Trump supporters to be a threat to the country?”

After an initial attempt to dodge that question, Biden replied, “You keep trying to make that case. I don’t consider any Trump supporter a threat to the country.”

Clarified remarks contradict the initial declaration

“I do think anyone who calls for the use of violence, fails to condemn violence when it’s used, refuses to acknowledge when an election has been won, insists upon changing the way in which the rules — you count votes — that is a threat to democracy. Democracy,” Biden continued. “And everything we stand for — everything we stand for rests on the platform of democracy.”

“When people voted for Donald Trump and support him now, they weren’t voting for attacking the Capitol. They weren’t voting for overruling an election. They were voting for a philosophy he put forward,” he added. “So I am not talking about anything other than: It is inappropriate — and it’s not only happening here, but other parts of the world — where there’s a failure to recognize and condemn violence whenever it’s used for political purposes, failure to condemn the — the — an attempt to manipulate electoral outcomes, a failure to acknowledge when elections were won or lost.”

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