CNN anchor Brianna Keilar criticized President Joe Biden on Thursday night for having two Marines stand behind him during his speech in Philadelphia, prompting the White House to respond.
Biden delivered a speech Thursday evening in front of Independence Hall during which he lambasted Republican voters as “extremists” and threats to democracy. Biden appeared in front of a red background with two Marines flanking him. Keilar was critical of the move, saying including the Marines was “wrong.”
“Whatever you think of this speech the military is supposed to be apolitical. Positioning Marines in uniform behind President Biden for a political speech flies in the face of that. It’s wrong when Democrats do it. It’s wrong when Republicans do it,” she wrote on Twitter.
Whatever you think of this speech the military is supposed to be apolitical. Positioning Marines in uniform behind President Biden for a political speech flies in the face of that. It’s wrong when Democrats do it. It’s wrong when Republicans do it.
— Brianna Keilar (@brikeilarcnn) September 2, 2022
White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates countered, saying the speech was “not political.”
Except it’s not political. In the same way CNN isn’t political but has made the same warnings.
“Jake Tapper breaks down GOP threats to democracy” https://t.co/2EEGwR173D
— Andrew Bates (@AndrewJBates46) September 2, 2022
White House deputy press secretary Chris Meagher said “democracy is not a partisan or political issue.” (RELATED: ‘F**k Joe Biden’: Biden’s Speech Interrupted By Heckler)
Democracy is not a partisan or political issue. https://t.co/EgBfFoVl2s
— Chris Meagher (@chrismeagher46) September 2, 2022
Vox Media co-founder Markos Moulitsas said the Marines aren’t even in the general frame, and questioned in a seemingly joking way whether their “generic presence” was “generating such vapors.”
— Markos Moulitsas (@markos) September 2, 2022
Daily News columnist Brandon Friedman argued “you can use marines” when “defending democracy in the face of anti-American fascism.” (RELATED: ‘Full Monty Mussolini’: Biden’s Primetime Speech Mocked, Slammed On Social Media)
when you are defending democracy in the face of anti-american fascism, you can use marines https://t.co/HcaaCFoXyF
— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) September 2, 2022
Biden attacked supporters of former President Donald Trump throughout his speech, casting Republicans as “extremists.”
“Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal,” Biden said. “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundation of our republic.”