Biden calls GOP ideas ‘semi-fascism’ as tour starts

Elections 2022

(NewsNation) — At a kickoff rally and fundraiser in Maryland Thursday, President Joe Biden called on Democrats to “vote to literally save democracy” and compared Republican ideology to “semi-fascism.”

This comes a little more than 70 days out from the midterm elections.

Calling his predecessor Donald Trump a “defeated president,” Biden hinted at a possible rematch from 2020 between the two, saying the U.S. could once again be in a battle for its democracy.

“The MAGA Republicans don’t just threaten our personal rights and economic security. They’re a threat to our very democracy,” he said, referencing Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. “They refuse to accept the will of the people, they embrace political violence. They don’t believe in democracy.”

Some comments Biden made Thursday night are getting pushback from Republicans.

The Republican National Committee called the semi-fascism comments “despicable” before taking aim at issues with the economy, saying “Biden forced Americans out of jobs, transferred money from working families to Harvard lawyers and sent our country into a recession while families can’t afford gas or groceries. Democrats don’t care about suffering Americans, they never did.”

Democrats are seeing a surge in support right now, as well as donations, after legislative wins on gun control, infrastructure, tech manufacturing, climate change and health care costs. They’ve also come out more energized on issues such as abortion after the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade.

Most recently, Biden announced the cancellations of $10,000 in student debt for those who earned less than $125,000 a year, (with $20,000 for those who had Pell grants), which could give him more support among young voters.

Ahead of the rally, Biden raised about $1 million at an event with about 100 donors for the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund in the backyard of a lavish Bethesda home.

It’s this momentum Biden will carry with him as he takes his message to the road in some key swing states.

Next Tuesday, the president will be in Pennsylvania for an event focusing on crime prevention, before another event in Ohio planned for early September.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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