President Joe Biden appeared to walk back his attacks on supporters of former President Donald Trump during a Friday event where he delivered remarks on the American Rescue Plan.
Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked if he considers all Trump supporters to be a “threat to the country.” The president denied the suggestion, and said only those who threaten violence pose a threat.
“Come on, look guys, you keep trying to make that case, and I don’t consider any Trump supporter to be a threat to the country,” Biden said. “I do think anyone who calls for the use of violence, fails to condemn violence when it’s used, and refused to acknowledge an election that’s been won, insists upon changing the way in which the rules and count votes, that is a threat to democracy. Democracy. 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 continued. “So I am not talking about anything other than it is inappropriate, and it is not only happening here, but other parts of the world, the failure to recognize and condemn violence whenever it’s used for political purposes, failure to condemn, attempt to manipulate electoral outcomes, failure to acknowledge when elections were won or lost.”
The president’s speech in front of Independence Hall Thursday attacked Trump and “MAGA Republicans” for their alleged “extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.” He said they disregard the rule of law and the Constitution.
His remarks came after he labeled the “MAGA Republican” philosophy “semi-fascism” at an Aug. 26 Democratic fundraiser in Maryland. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has repeatedly doubled down on this rhetoric, claiming that “MAGA Republicans’” attempts to restrict abortion and allegedly take away voting rights fit the definition of fascism. (RELATED: ‘He Was Attacking The Entire Party’: Karl Rove, Juan Williams Spar Over Biden’s ‘Semi-Fascism’ Remark)
The press secretary said at Thursday’s briefing that “MAGA Republicans’” views on abortion and other “fundamental rights” are “extreme” since they are not in line with the majority of Americans.
“And again, we see [a] majority of Americans who disagree, and so when you are not with where a majority of Americans are, then that is extreme, that is an extreme way of thinking,” she said.