UPDATED 4:25 PM PT – Friday, September 2, 2022
Biden’s so-called ‘Battle for the Soul of the Nation’ speech on Thursday night is not getting the roaring applause he may have hoped for. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre was forced to defend the decision to have Marine Corps Officers stand in the background of Joe Biden’s divisive speech after the President caught heat from not only Conservatives but from left-wing media mainstays.
A CNN reporter was one of many to point out that the military is meant to be kept apolitical. Brianna Keilar claimed that Biden standing in front of two Marines was disparaging to half the Country.
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
A guest on her show, an Iraq War veteran, also weighed in. Allison Jaslow said that though she may agree with sentiments in Biden’s speech, it’s hard to not see the Marine Officers as a prop.
“Somebody made the decision to put those Marines in the shot,” Jaslow said. “The reality is those Marines didn’t have a choice whether to be there or not. They could be like myself, who if I was in the military still (I) would have agreed with the President and would’ve welcomed being at the event yesterday, but we don’t know if that’s true. The reality of it is that we need to make sure that our military is as removed from politics as possible.”
The White House has dismissed any concerns. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre has claimed that Biden’s speech was not political.
“The way we see it here, and I would argue the way many Americans across the country see it, is standing up for democracy is not political,” Jean Pierre said. “Defending rights and freedom is not political…We don’t call any of that political, we see that as leadership and we see that as Presidential.”
The Press Secretary’s comments were contradictory to what the President said during his speech.
“They fanned the flames of political violence that are a threat to our personal rights to the pursuit of justice. To the rule of law, to the very soul of this country,” Biden said. “Backwards to an America where there is no right to choose no right to privacy. No, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love… Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represented extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”
Karine Jean Pierre went on to say that it’s not unusual to have Presidents deliver speeches in front of servicemembers. She cited Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
REAGAN 2/ pic.twitter.com/h0vAqvWgrb
— Mueller, She Wrote (@MuellerSheWrote) September 2, 2022
However, many of the examples being shared of these Presidents speaking with servicemembers on hand are not politically charged or motivated speeches but rather inaugural speeches or remarks that directly correlate to the military.