PResident Joe Biden is leaning hard on a new messaging strategy aimed at labeling Republicans as “ultra-MAGA” extremists ahead of the midterm elections in which Democrats appear to be in serious trouble.
The slogan was unveiled last week, while Biden added on Tuesday that congressional Republicans want to raise taxes for 75 million families and threaten to end Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security – long considered the untouchable third rail of politics.
The strategy has been mocked by Republicans who see it as a replay of Hillary Clinton’s “deplorable” 2016 jibe that largely backfired and which Biden has vowed to avoid.
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But the move has been welcomed in Democratic circles, as the party clings to congressional control.
“I was glad the president took the gloves off,” said Democratic strategist Michael Stratton. “You can only turn your cheek a certain number of times. The president has done it time and time again, and now is the time to push back against the lies and the bad, bad policies advocated by Senator Scott.
Many of Biden’s new talking points come from Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) and a list of proposals he released in February. On page 38 of the 60-page document is a bullet point that reads, “All federal laws expire in 5 years. If a law is worth obeying, Congress can pass it again.”
Biden and other Democrats called the proposals dangerous and destabilizing.
“Really, ask yourself: how are we going to sleep well at night knowing that every five years the MAGA Republicans – as I said, it’s not your father’s Republican party – are going to have to vote for know if you will have Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and what amounts you will have in each of these programs? Biden said during a speech on inflation. “Do you know what they are likely to do?” Use them as hostages every five years to get their way onto other things.
Few Republicans supported Scott’s ideas. the Washington Post called Biden’s claim that congressional Republicans want to raise taxes false, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) specifically said his party would not introduce a bill which cancels the rights programs.
Biden and White House press secretary Jen Psaki point to Scott’s standing as chairman of the Republican National Senate Committee and the lack of competing GOP proposals to support their claims.
PSAki mentioned Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel as a fan of Scott’s ideas. But for his part, McDaniel says the whole thing is a distraction from Biden’s record.
“Every time Joe Biden lies about his failed economic record, he insults every struggling American family and every small business owner,” she said in a statement. “Biden may be living in an alternate reality, but voters aren’t, which is why they’re only blaming Biden and the Democrats for the rising prices they’re seeing for everyday consumer goods, gasoline and The economy is on the ballot in November and voters know Biden and the Democrats are only making things worse.
The RNC points out that inflation has cost people $536 a month on average since Biden took office, which the president attributes to supply chain issues related to COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine. He called reducing inflation his top economic priority in a Tuesday morning speech in which he also attacked Republicans as “ultra-MAGA.”
Biden apparently coined ‘ultra-MAGA’ himself in reference to former President Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ campaign slogan and what he describes as extreme political positions by Congress and government. ‘other Republicans on the decline.
As the midterm elections approach and his approval ratings stall in the 1940s, Biden is working to put the GOP in the spotlight, calling it the most extreme political organization in recent American history.
Trump isn’t on the ballot this fall, Biden argues, but his platform certainly is.
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While Biden entered office preaching a unity agenda, Stratton, the Democratic strategist, argues that with Republicans continuing to point the finger at Biden, now is the time to point back.
“Republicans have done a really, really good job of sending the message that all of these evils are because of Biden,” Stratton said. “It’s hardly the case, but as you know, there’s no longer any bounty on telling the truth. I think it’s high time the president, who has worked very, very hard to get a bipartisan agreement on so many issues, now take off the gloves push back.”