(FreedomWire.org) – Left-leaning media figures on MSNBC, CNN, as well as number of Democrats, have attempted to defend and unpack President Biden’s comments in which he referred to “extreme MAGA” Republican philosophy as “semi-fascism.”
“What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy,” Biden said during a Thursday Maryland fundraiser. “It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something, it’s like semi-fascism.”
Several reporters and guests over the weekend attempted to decipher Biden’s statement, often clarifying that they did not believe it was a criticism of all, or even most Republicans. CNN national politics reporter Eva McKend said it seemed like Biden was attempting to “bring in” some Republicans to the fold with his words.
“It almost seemed like he was trying to call in some Republicans by delineating between MAGA Republicans and mainstream Republicans and try to bring them into the fold,” she said.
CNN political commentator Errol Louis also provided his thoughts on Biden’s critique, arguing that despite being perhaps “harsher” than anticipated, it really just happened to be the “truth.”
“I think the president is laying out the terms of the debate in very stark terms. A little harsher than maybe some of us expected, but that happens to be the truth. It happens to be what’s at stake here,” Louis said.
The topic was also discussed at length on CNN Newsroom with Pamela Brown, in which the host asked CNN political commentator Maria Cardona if she felt that Biden’s “semi-fascist” comment aimed at millions of Americans was a mistake.
“No, because the president actually didn’t call millions of Americans semi-fascists,” Cardona said. “He called the Republicans that are supporting the big lie that Joe Biden did not legitimately win the election—
“But that’s milli—that’s a lot of people,” Brown interjected.
“But, why is that Pam?” Cardona replied. “It’s because Republican leaders from Donald Trump on down, to many that are in the Congress, many that are in the Senate, many that are on the ballot, many that are on the ballot going into the midterm elections who if elected would be in positions of power over elections and would overturn free and fair elections—that is fascism.”
The discusson continued on over at MSNBC, where “The Beat” host Ari Melber asked The Atlantic staff writer Mark Leibovich what he thought of Biden using “the f-word.”
“Well he said semi, so there was a modifier there,” Leibovich said. He added that Biden and his administration seemed much more “emboldened” to use that kind of language, and to discuss threats to democracy as an election issue heading into the midterms.
MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough felt that Biden did not go far enough in his comments, and instead should have outright called MAGA Republicans fascists.
“I must say actually, for the most extreme saying semi-fascist leads me only to the question—what’s semi about that?” Scarborough said. “It’s full-on fascism.”
Only NBC’s Peter Alexander and CNN’s Don Lemon appeared to push back on the Biden administration’s latest description for Trump-friendly Republicans.
Alexander suggested Sunday that Biden’s comment likening Trump’s philosophy to “semi-fascism” undercut his pledge to be a unifier.
Alexander noted that Biden’s more aggressive tone as of late “fires up Democrats” and “juices up the base.”
“But it also does become problematic because, you know, this is a guy who said he wants to be a unifier,” Alexander added.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended Biden’s remarks during Friday’s press briefing. When asked if Biden respects Americans who voted for President Donald Trump in 2020, Jean-Pierre replied that the president was “pretty clear” with his comments.
“I think he was pretty clear, and he was very powerful last night. Look, what the president said last night was that when it comes to MAGA Republicans, when it comes to the extreme, ultra wing of Republicans, they are attacking democracy, right? They are attacking, taking away rights and freedoms,” Jean-Pierre said.
She later noted that, between threats of violence, and voting rights, historians would agree that Biden simply “called it what it is.”
She later clashed with CNN’s Lemon last week over why he used the terminology.
Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Jaime Harrison on Sunday said that Biden was being “consistent” when calling the MAGA philosophy linked to former President Trump “semi-fascism” despite Biden’s own past calls for lowering the temperature on harsh rhetoric.
Earlier this year, President Biden rolled out a catchphrase trying to negatively characterize the GOP as “ultra-MAGA, referring to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.