Biden seeks to separate ‘mainstream’ Republicans from ‘Trumpies’ in Wisconsin speech

The comments came after a string of appearances in recent days, in which the president campaigned forcefully against the more “extreme” segments of the GOP. In the most pointed remark, he called former President Donald Trump‘s philosophy “semi-fascism” at an event for Democratic donors late last month.

Biden has placed Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican vying to retain his seat in Wisconsin’s midterm elections, squarely in the “MAGA” camp.

“The biggest contrast between these MAGA Republicans, the far right, the Trumpies. … These MAGA Republicans in Congress are coming for your Social Security,” Biden said, calling Johnson and Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, chairman of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee.

A protester briefly interrupted as Biden spoke about the “political battle for the soul of America,” a phrase the president used last week in reference to perceived right-wing threats to democracy.

“Let him go. Everyone has the right to be an idiot,” Biden said after security caught the protester.

Biden visited Milwaukee Laborfest on Monday in what was billed as a Labor Day celebration of “the dignity of the American worker.”

The holiday also marks the unofficial start of the fall campaign sprint, ahead of the midterm elections in November. Wisconsin was one of two politically crucial states Biden planned to visit on Monday; he was also scheduled to stop in Pittsburgh later in the day, marking his third visit to Pennsylvania in a week.

In his Milwaukee speech, Biden credited working people for his political victories, from his first Senate election to the most recent presidential election.

“The middle class built America. Everyone knows it. But unions built the middle class,” Biden said, raising his voice to cheers from the Laborfest audience.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, who is running for re-election against a Trump-backed Republican opponent, Tim Michels, helped pitch Biden.

Mandela Barnes, who faced Johnson in November, was not at the event. However, he received a shoutout from Biden as the state’s “next U.S. senator.”

“This guy never quits,” Biden said of Johnson in the speech, lamenting the senator’s political stance on health care against the Affordable Care Act. “But guess what. I won’t stop either.

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