CBS News’ “60 Minutes” confronted President Joe Biden on how he would define “MAGA Republicans.”
During a segment of “60 Minutes Overtime,” which is posted online but not aired on TV, journalist Scott Pelley said, “Sir, in your Philadelphia speech recently, you warned of MAGA Republicans, those who attacked the Capitol.”
Biden claimed earlier this month that so-called “MAGA Republicans” represent “an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”
“But later in the speech, you conflated them with people who disagree with you on abortion,” Pelley insisted.
However, Biden interjected, “No, I did not. That’s a misreading of my speech. That’s a fundamental misreading of my speech.”
But the journalist noted, “Well, sir, you talked about the right to choose. You talk about the right to conception. You talk about the right to marry the person you love.”
The interview then showed a clip from a speech earlier this month when Biden declared, “MAGA forces are 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.”
His comments seemed to suggest that Republicans who oppose abortion might be considered a MAGA Republican.
However, during the interview, Biden said, “I was making a speech about the state of affairs in the Republican Party and us. I wasn’t just talking about MAGA Republicans. The MAGA Republicans are the people who say, refuse to acknowledge that an election took place and there was a winner.
“The MAGA Republicans are those people who, in fact, say that the use of violence is a legitimate tool, like what happened to the Capitol. They’re the MAGA Republicans. You can’t call yourself a democratic republic and support violence internally against the government, and at the same time talk about not recognizing the outcome of the election as overwhelmingly agreed to be legitimate,” he continued.
When asked if he worried the speech would create more division, Biden said, “No, I don’t fear that at all. I think a significant portion of mainstream Republicans know it to be true, and agree.”
Biden has previously asserted that he was only referring to people who embrace violence and reject election results as “MAGA Republicans.”
“I don’t consider any Trump supporters a threat to the country,” the president told reporters.
He continued, “I do think anyone who calls for the use of violence, fails to condemn violence when it’s used, refuses to acknowledge an election that has been won, insists upon changing the way you count votes, that is a threat to democracy. Democracy. Everything we stand for. Everything we stand for rest upon the platform of democracy.”
Doocy: "Do you consider all Trump supporters to be a threat to the country?"
Biden: "I don't consider any Trump supporter a threat to the country." pic.twitter.com/QB7f3XVG7z
— Washington Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) September 2, 2022
The president also stated, “When people voted for Donald Trump, and still support him now, they weren’t voting for the attack on the Capitol. They weren’t voting for overruling an election. They were voting for the philosophy he put forward.”
Finally, Biden claimed he was only speaking about a “failure to recognize and condemn violence when it’s used for political purposes, failure to condemn…attempts to manipulate an electoral outcome, failure to acknowledge when elections are won or lost.”
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