White House calls out DeSantis, Greene to defend semi-fascists comment

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended President Biden comparing the “MAGA” wing of the Republican Party to “semi-fascism” on Wednesday by calling out Republicans like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) for their rhetoric.

“Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green has publicly expressed support for shooting prominent democratic elected officials and suggesting physically assaulting transgender school officials,” she said. “And just last week, you had Governor Ron DeSantis suggest that Dr. [Anthony] Fauci should be physically assaulted.”

DeSantis, who is considered a top contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, said in a recent speech that someone needs to “chuck Fauci across the Potomac,” referring to the outgoing White House chief medical adviser.

At a fundraising event hosted by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in Maryland on Thursday, Biden likened the “extreme MAGA philosophy” — referring to former President Trump’s “Make American Great Again” slogan — to “semi-fascism.”

Jean-Pierre also called out Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) Wednesday for posting “videos depicting him attacking the president and members of Congress” and Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) because he “has said falsely if our election systems continue to be rigged and continue to be stolen then it’s going to lead to one place, and that’s bloodshed.”

“And former President Trump has done the same many, many times,” she added.

Biden has received backlash from some Republicans for the comparison to fascism, including from New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, who called for Biden to issue an apology on Sunday.

When asked how Biden differentiates between “ultra-MAGA” Republicans and the average GOP voter, Jean-Pierre pointed to Republicans in leadership positions.

“The president has been really clear about the leadership, the MAGA Republicans in leadership. They’re the ones that have the platform … they’re the ones who folks listen to in their own party,” she said.

She added that Biden named Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan as a Republican who is not part of the ultra-MAGA ideology during his DNC remarks in Maryland. Hogan, who is retiring in 2023, has been critical of Trump and Trump-backed candidates like the Republican nominee for governor in his own state, Dan Cox.

“This is not a blanketed statement. This is calling out what we have seen for some time, since 2017,” she said, adding that “the former president” is an “an authoritarian figure.”

Tags Biden Chris Sununu Chris Sununu dan cox Democratic National Committee House of Representatives Joe Biden Karine Jean-Pierre Karine Jean-Pierre Larry Hogan Larry Hogan madison cawthorn Madison Cawthorn MAGA Marjorie Taylor Greene Paul Gosar Paul Gosar Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis semi-fascism
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