US President Joe Biden launched a scathing attack against former president Donald Trump and his band of MAGA supporters, in his primetime speech on Thursday, labelling them as a threat to American democracy.
Speaking at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, two months before the nation heads to polls for the midterm elections, the Democratic Party candidate said “Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal”, adding, “There’s no question that the Republican Party today is dominated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans”. The acronym refers to Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign slogan.
The 46th POTUS, in his recent address, displays a sharp U-turn when it comes to the Biden government’s stance on Donald Trump. When the 79-year-old had initially become president, Biden in his first town hall address said “I’m tired of talking about Donald Trump. I don’t want to talk about him anymore”.
He was speaking at the CNN town hall in Milwaukee, and added, “For four years, all that’s been in the news is Trump. For the next four years, I wanna make sure the news is the American people.”
When addressing the government’s response to COVID, at that time, Biden even refused to take Trump’s name, calling him “the former guy”.
“You had the former guy saying that, ‘Well, you know, we’re just going to open things up and that’s all we need to do.’ We said no, you’ve got to deal with the disease before you deal with getting the economy going”, the US president said.
This was largely the stance Biden and the White House took for the first 18 months of his presidency. However, Biden changed tactics and started taking Trump head-on, when he delivered the speech marking the one-year anniversary of the Jan 6 riots– where Trump supporters had stormed the Capitol.
“The former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election”, Biden said, adding, “He’s done so because he values power over principle, because he sees his own interests as more important than his country’s interests and America’s interests, and because his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or our Constitution.”
Biden continued, “He’s not just a former president. He’s a defeated former president. You can’t love your country only when you win.”
Throwing out any plans of national unity, that Biden had mentioned in his inaugural address, the president doubled down on his attacks on Trump.
In a pre-recorded speech at the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives’ annual conference in Orlando, Florida, Biden said “The police were heroes that day. Donald Trump lacked the courage to act”, speaking of the Jan 6 riots, and added, “The brave women and men in blue all across this nation should never forget that. You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-cop. You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-democracy. You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-American.”
When Biden emerged from isolation after battling COVID, the president pointedly said that he could continue working from the White House, while Trump had to be airlifted to a hospital at a time when vaccines weren’t as readily available, and the then-president had taken a cavalier approach in mitigating the situation.
Many in the Democratic Party believe that Biden has been right in taking the bull by the horns and stepping up to challenge his predecessor, who continues to wield considerable influence within the Republican Party.
“It’s like Lord Voldemort, right? You gotta say his name and show that you’re not afraid of him”, Democratic Party lawmaker Jamaal Bowman had said, adding, “It’s good to see that the president is naming Donald Trump, as we all should.”
Now, bolstered by the recent legislative wins, Biden hasn’t backed down from comparing Trump’s “MAGA philosophy” to “semi-fascism”, even going as far as to appeal to traditional Republicans to make their voices heard.