President Biden on Thursday likened the “MAGA” wing of the GOP to fascism, leaning into his midterm campaign strategy to paint Republicans as extreme.
“What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy. It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something, it’s like semi-fascism,” he said at a fundraising event hosted by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in Bethesda, Md.
The White House has said Biden, while campaigning for Democrats ahead of November, will aim to paint Republicans as stewards of special interests who are pursuing an “extreme MAGA agenda that costs families,” seeking to tie them to former President Trump’s “Make American Great Again” slogan.
The event in Maryland was the first formal pre-midterm event for Biden, who is expected to fan out across the county to tout his agenda. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre previewed the president’s remarks earlier on Thursday and said he would display “the choice before Americans.”
Biden, at the event, mentioned the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, as well as the potential for Republicans to work towards overturning marriage equality or repealing the Affordable Care Act.
“This is not your father’s Republican Party. This is a different deal,” he said. “Our team has to show up and quite frankly vote, just simply vote.”
He also targeted Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), the head of the GOP’s Senate campaign arm, for his tax plan that Biden has consistently criticized. The White House has sought to tie congressional Republicans to the plan, but other lawmakers have either distanced themselves from the plan or declined to embrace it.
“Rick Scott, who heads up the ultra MAGA agenda for Republicans … he thinks everyone in America should pay taxes,” Biden said on Thursday.
Scott’s plan says that “all Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount,” which the White House has bashed as a move to require everyone to pay taxes.
The fundraising event had about 100 attendees and raised $1 million for the DNC and the Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund, according to a DNC official.
Following the event, Biden attended a rally at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Md.
Biden is expected to head to pivotal swing states in the next couple of weeks to continue his pre-midterm tour. On Tuesday, he will go to Pennsylvania for an event focused on crime prevention and then he will travel to Ohio on Sept. 9 for an event focused on American manufacturing.