Former Vice President Mike Pence railed against President Biden’s speech arguing “MAGA Republicans” pose a threat to democracy, telling a conservative women’s group that the address amounted to a “partisan campaign rally” that demonized the right.
“Did you see that speech last week? President Biden held a partisan campaign rally at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, flanked by uniformed United States Marines, and revealed what’s truly at stake in the next election,” Pence said in remarks Wednesday night to Concerned Women for America, a conservative anti-abortion group.
Pence took issue in particular with Biden’s comments that Republicans who oppose abortion rights are taking the country “backwards.” Pence has pushed for states to pass their own laws restriction abortion after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade over the summer.
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“The president made it clear that he views pro-life Americans as enemies of democracy,” Pence said. “In fact, he said that anyone who refuses to bend the knee to his extremist left-wing ideology represents ‘an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.’”
“Never before in the history of our nation has a president stood before the American people and accused millions of his own countrymen of being a ‘threat to this country,'” Pence continued. “To top it off, President Biden had the audacity to claim, ‘I’m asking our nation to come together, to unite.’”
Republican lawmakers and conservatives have roundly criticized Biden’s speech in Philadelphia last week in which the president warned that former President Trump and Republicans aligned with him are a threat to democracy.
Biden specifically cited the way “MAGA Republicans” attack law enforcement, sow distrust in election results and spread conspiracy theories as ways they are undermining democracy.
Biden has since said he does not believe all Trump voters are a threat to democracy, but many in the GOP have still chastised the president for giving what they viewed as a political address attacking conservatives.
But the criticism from Pence was particularly noteworthy because of his former boss.
Trump frequently demonizes Democrats, painting them as socialists and saying at a campaign rally that Biden was an “enemy of the state” in response to the Philadelphia speech.
Pence also faced danger on Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol and could be heard chanting “Hang Mike Pence” after Trump spent months claiming there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election and that Pence unilaterally could overturn the results.
Pence has spoken repeatedly about that day in recent months, saying he disagreed with Trump and felt it was his duty to certify the election results.
The former vice president is widely seen as a potential 2024 presidential candidate. Pence has made multiple trips to early voting states like New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina, and he has been a prominent presence in boosting Republican candidates ahead of the midterms.