President Joe Biden walked back comments he made about MAGA Republicans posing a “clear and present danger” to America, telling reporters Friday he didn’t consider “any Trump supporter a threat to the country.”
But he did say failure to condemn violence for political gains was “inappropriate.”
Biden was responding to a question from Fox News’ Peter Doocy, who asked if Biden considered all Trump supporters a threat to the country.
“You keep trying to make that case. I don’t consider any Trump supporters a threat to the country,” Biden said. “I do think anyone who calls for the use of violence, refuses to acknowledge an election … changing the way you count votes, that is a threat to democracy.”
Biden on Thursday in a fiery speech slammed former President Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans.
“Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our Republic,” Biden said from Independence Hall in Philadelphia, urging Americans to reject fear and violence.
“It’s in our hands, yours and mine, to stop the assault on American democracy. I believe America is at an inflection point, one of those moments that determine the shape of everything that’s to come after.
“For a long time, we’ve reassured ourselves that American democracy is guaranteed. But it is not. We have to defend it. Protect it. Stand up for it. Each and every one of us. That’s why tonight I’m asking our nation to come together and unite behind the single purpose of defending our democracy regardless of your ideology.”
He also said MAGA forces were “determined to take this country backwards. … Backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love.”
Since Trump entered office, Biden added, the U.S. faces “a battle for the soul of the nation.”
Republicans slammed Biden for maligning the 74 million people who voted for Trump in 2020.
“Joe Biden is the divider-in-chief and epitomizes the current state of the Democrat Party,” said Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee. “One of divisiveness, disgust and hostility towards half the country.”
Trump said the speech was “awkward and angry.”
“Someone should explain to Joe Biden, slowly but passionately, that MAGA means, as powerfully as mere words can get, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social account.
“‘If he doesn’t want to Make America Great Again, which through words, action, and thought, he doesn’t, then he certainly should not be representing the United States of America!
“If you look at the words and meaning of the awkward and angry Biden speech tonight, he threatened America, including with the possible use of military force. He must be insane, or suffering from late stage dementia!”