Administration

Biden takes shots at GOP, Trump: ‘This is a MAGA party now’

President Biden took aim at Republicans during a speech on Earth Day, telling his audience that today’s GOP “ain’t your father’s Republican Party” and accusing most Republicans in Washington of being too afraid of primary challengers to buck their party.  

“This ain’t your father’s Republican Party. Not a joke. All you got to do is look what’s being played this morning about the tape that was released — anyway,” Biden said in Seattle, making a passing reference to the uproar over a leaked recording of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) saying he planned to urge former President Trump to resign following the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.  

“All kidding aside, this is a MAGA party now,” Biden continued, referring to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. “You’ve got the senator from Texas and others. These guys are a different breed of cat. They’re not like what I served with for so many years. And the people who know better are afraid to act correctly because they know they’ll be primaried.”  

Biden then claimed, as he has on prior occasions, that a handful of Republicans have privately told him they wanted to vote for his proposals but can’t because they would face a GOP primary challenger.  

Biden’s comments came in the middle of a speech on Earth Day that was otherwise focused on his climate agenda, which has been constrained due to Democrats’ slim single-vote majority in the Senate.  

The opposition of Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) to some of Biden’s proposals have prevented him from getting a sweeping climate and social policy bill across the finish line using budget reconciliation. 

But Biden made the case Friday that Democrats are largely united, and that Republicans are the ones responsible for standing in the way of his plans.  

Biden also swiped at Trump for the former president’s views on climate change, the latest in a series of jabs at his predecessor that Biden has made over the past few days. 

“We’ve reached the point that the crisis on the environment has become so obvious — with the notable exception of the former president,” Biden said.  

Some Democrats have urged Biden to more strongly criticize Republicans ahead of the midterm elections, which are less than seven months away. Biden’s approval ratings remain deflated, as the public is frustrated by high inflation and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and some strategists believe it necessary for the president to draw a more effective contrast with the GOP.  

Biden often gravitates toward messages of bipartisanship and unity, most recently in his appeals for action to address Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  

But the president has also tested out new attacks on Republicans in recent days. At two fundraisers on Thursday, Biden described the GOP as an unrecognizable “MAGA” party and went after Florida Republicans for targeting Disney over the company’s objection to a bill limiting discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms.  

“I respect conservatives. There’s nothing conservative about deciding you’re going to throw Disney out of its present posture because, Mickey Mouse? In fact, do you think we should not be able to say, you know, ‘gay’?” Biden said during a fundraiser in Seattle Thursday evening.  

“I mean, what’s going on here? What the hell is going on? And it’s just, it’s so, I don’t believe it’s where the vast majority of the American people are,” Biden said.   

Tags Biden Donald Trump Joe Biden Joe Manchin Kevin McCarthy Kevin McCarthy Kyrsten Sinema

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