President Joe Biden lambasted the philosophy behind his predecessor, Donald Trump, at a fundraising event on Thursday, saying the MAGA movement embraced by large sectors of the Republican Party was akin to “semi-fascism.”
The president, speaking at a Democratic fundraiser in Maryland, called out “extreme” Republicans and said he was concerned about the state of Democracy in America. Biden added he wasn’t sure if the hard-right tilt of the GOP was coming to an end or just beginning, warning those gathered to vote during November’s midterm elections to reject the “ultra MAGA agenda,” referring to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” mantra.
“What we’re seeing now, is either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy,” Biden said. “It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the... I’m going to say something, it’s like semi-fascism.”’
Biden went on to say he didn’t realize how damaging Trump’s tenure in the White House had been to the country’s international standing when he first walked into the Oval Office. Those statements marked some of his sharpest comments yet aimed at the Republican establishment.
“I underestimated how much damage the previous four years had done in terms of America’s reputation in the world,” the president said, before adding he retained hope those losses could be regained.
“I believe there’s not a damn thing America can’t do if we set our mind to it,” Biden said.
The White House is hoping to ride a string of political victories into the November elections, including the landmark Inflation Reduction Act passed earlier this month and his decision to cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for millions of Americans. Democrats also hope to leverage nationwide anger over GOP efforts to limit access to abortion and voting rights and fend off Republican efforts to wrest control of either chamber of Congress.
Biden this week began a nationwide tour to support Democratic candidates running for congressional and local offices. He warned supporters Republicans wouldn’t stop at their recent victories after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade, but would move on to attack other civil liberties, including same-sex marriage.
“It’s not hyperbole now you need to vote to literally save democracy again,” the president told a crowd at the Democratic National Committee event Thursday, according to Reuters reports. “America must choose. You must choose. Whether our country will move forward or backward.”