After GOP criticism, White House spokesperson defends Biden's slam of MAGA for 'semi-fascism'
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Friday defended President Joe Biden's remarks comparing Republican ideology to "semi-fascism."
Jean-Pierre said the actions of MAGA Republicans fit the definition of "fascism."
MAGA Republicans (referencing former President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan) are "attacking democracy," Jean-Pierre said during Friday's press briefing.
"When it comes to the extreme, ultra wing of Republicans, they are attacking democracy … taking away rights and freedoms. They are using ... threats of violence. They are taking away voting rights. And (Biden) called it what it is," Jean-Pierre said.
When asked again about Biden's comments, Jean-Pierre said that Biden has previously compared the actions of the Trump-allied Republicans to the definition of fascism, even if he hadn't used "that specific word" before.
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"You look at the definition of 'fascism,' and you think about what they’re doing in attacking our democracy ... I mean, that is what that is; it is very clear," said Jean Pierre.
In general terms, fascism is a political ideology, movement or regime that is characterized by nationalism and authoritarianism. Merriam-Webster dictionary states that fascism "exalts nation and often race above the individual" – supporting "a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition."
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In his remarks at a Maryland reception for the Democratic National Committee on Thursday, Biden compared MAGA Republicans' actions to semi-fascism while expressing concern about the nation's unity and "sustaining democracy."
"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 – it’s – I’m going say something – it’s almost like semi-fascism, the way in which it deals."
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In response, Republican National Committee spokesperson Nathan Brand called Biden's remarks "despicable."
"Biden forced Americans out of their jobs, transferred money from working families to Harvard lawyers, and sent our country into a recession while families can't afford gas and groceries. Democrats don't care about suffering Americans – they never did," Brand said in a statement sent to multiple media outlets.