Monday, May 16, 2022

Defending record, Biden labels GOP ‘ultra-maga’

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – President Joe Biden on Tuesday warned voters unhappy with his stalled domestic agenda against rising inflation and turning “ultra-maga” Republicans to power in midterm elections as he increasingly slams former President Donald Trump and his Were trying to cast followers. A political foil.

Speaking at the White House less than six months before the elections, Biden acknowledged that he could “taste” the country’s discontent with Washington, especially over rising prices. But he tried to channel anger against the GOP.

“Look, I know you must be disappointed,” he said. “I know, I can taste it. Frustrated by the high prices, by the impasse in Congress, by the time it takes to do anything.

“MAGA Republicans are counting on you to be dismayed at the pace of progress that they’ve done everything they can to slow down, that you’ll hand them power … so that they can implement their extreme agenda,” Biden said. he said.

Biden’s branding of his opposition as an “ultra-maga Republican” — a reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan — has emerged as a White House trope in recent weeks as the White House is preoccupied with Democrats. -Expects a midterm reset, which faces tough challenges in November’s elections. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that “that’s the president’s phrase.”

It’s a message that is directly targeted at Biden’s listless and divided base of his party, as Democrats struggle to keep their voters motivated, as well as some moderate voters who still remember Trump’s turbulent term in office. I retreat.

“Look, I think Biden needs to motivate his base before the midterms. And nothing motivates Democrats to vote against Trump,” said GOP strategist Alex Conant. “Trump is not on the ballot this fall. But Biden is going to try to convince voters that he is.”

Conant argued that Biden has little choice.

“They’re not going to walk on his record. They’re not going to make big, bold policy promises,” he said, “in order to make the opponent a villain,” and the best way to do that is to tie him to Trump.

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For Democrats, who have unified control of Washington, running against a minority party is risky, even as Biden acknowledged that voters tend to blame those in control for the state of the country.

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But the White House believes Republicans have thrown them a lifeline in the form of GOP Sen. Rick Scott’s 11-point planwas issued in late February, which would impose a modest tax increase on the lowest-paid Americans, opening the door to cuts in Social Security and Medicare.

When the GOP returns to power, the plan, treated as a draft governing agenda, has been rejected by many Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. But that isn’t stopping Biden and the Democrats from trying to tie Republicans more broadly. Scott is the chairman of the Senate Republican campaign branch and a member of the Senate GOP leadership.

“It’s a plan in writing and he’s in the lead,” Biden said.

Biden argued that a potential tax hike would make it even more difficult for inflation-battered households to afford food, housing and transportation, as prices rise at the fastest pace in four decades.

“I want every American to know that I take inflation very seriously and that it is my top domestic priority,” Biden said.

Scott fired back in comments Tuesday, calling for Biden to resign, and terming him “unfit” for the job.

“I have a plan. I mean, it’s real simple,” he told reporters. “I put forth my views and how we have to save this country. He doesn’t have a plan. And you didn’t hear any ideas today.” I mean, he says he will come up with his own ideas and fix inflation.

In recent days, the White House has extended the “ultra-mega” label to widespread criticism of Republicans on other matters, including pressure to overturn the constitutional right to abortion established in the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

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Speaking Monday night at a Democratic fundraiser, Biden tested “ultra-maga” messaging with donors, including Florida Gov.’s move to ban some textbooks from use in the classroom and Scott’s plan for social distancing. Regular congressional re-authorization of the security was required. pure program.

“This is not your father’s Republican Party,” Biden said. It’s a MAGA party. It’s the MAGA party. And the head of his Republican campaign committee, Senator Rick Scott, puts forward the ultra-MAGA agenda he raises taxes on 70 million people who make less than $100,000.

On Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was echoing Biden’s line as he pushed Congress to incorporate abortion rights into law.

“Now MAGA Republicans have taken over,” he said. “Pregnant women could lose their lives if MAGA Republicans get their way because there will be no exception if the mother’s life is at risk.”

Jon Angelone, a Democratic pollster who has worked for Biden, said it’s important to create sharp contrasts with political opponents. ,

“Whether you’re in the running for governor in Michigan or you’re in the Senate race in New Hampshire, those contrasts become really important, because it’s good for voters to know what each side means,” he said. “You are without a doubt talking to swing voters, because at the end of the day, independents, swing voters, can make or break a cycle for moderate Democrats and Republicans.”

Speaking on Tuesday, Biden, who ran for office aimed at fixing the nation’s division, said, “I never expected ultra-maga Republicans who now control the Republican Party to control the Republican Party.” able to control. I never expected that to happen.”

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Associated Press writer Jill Colvin contributed to this report.

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