McCaul: A lot of Republicans were ‘very offended’ by Biden speech
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said many Republicans were “very offended” by President Biden’s primetime speech last week that called out former President Trump and MAGA Republicans as extremists and a threat to democracy.
McCaul told ABC’s “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz that Biden’s Philadelphia address from Independence Hall on Thursday night had the “opposite effect” of unifying the nation because calling Republicans “a threat to democracy is really a slap in the face.”
Raddatz noted that shortly after Biden’s speech, McCaul tweeted that attacking Republicans would only further divide the country, asking: “When you look at those polls showing 60 to 70 percent of Republicans believe Joe Biden is not the legitimate president, what is Biden supposed to do when the country cannot even decide what democracy means?”
“Well, look, I mean, democracy is messy but it’s better than all the other forms of government. I think that if this was a speech to unify the American people, it had just the opposite effect. It basically condemned all Republicans who supported Donald Trump in the last election. That’s over 70 million people,” McCaul responded, adding, “saying that Republicans are a threat to democracy is really a slap in the face.”
With a potential rematch of Biden and Trump seeking the presidency in 2024, McCaul said Biden is “teeing up who the enemy is in his view.”
“It [was] under the guise of a speech that’s to unite the nation, and I don’t think he succeeded in that,” the Texas lawmaker said of Biden’s address. “I heard it personally back here in Texas, that a lot of Republicans were very offended by that speech.”
Biden — who portrayed the Republican Party as divided between the hardline MAGA faction and mainstream conservatives — was also slammed by Trump, who called the president an “enemy of the state.”
Republicans criticized Biden in the wake of his address, with some declaring him the “divider in chief” noting that it went against his 2020 campaign promise to unify the country.
Biden has stepped up his criticism of Trump, notably mentioning him by name and calling out the MAGA-wing of the GOP and Trump’s influence on the party as a danger to democracy.
Before Thursday’s address, Biden had compared the MAGA philosophy to “semi-fascism,” drawing the ire of Republicans. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) last week said the president “owes an apology” to Republicans for the fascism comment, a call echoed by others in the GOP.
The grip of Trump’s influence was on full display following an FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago property with Republicans fervently coming his defense in the immediate aftermath. And eight of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him for the Jan. 6 rioting either resigned or lost against an opponent Trump backed.