President Joe Biden’s Press Secretary told the White House correspondents that the president’s speech at Independence Hall in Philadelphia was not going to be “political.”
But then the nighttime address in front of the hall lit up in red, the president stood with United State Marines and fired away with one of the most intensely political speeches ever given by a president.
Biden has received a massive amount of criticism for his politicization of the military in the Thursday speech that torched GOP supporters of President Donald Trump, literally millions of patriotic Americans.
President Biden gave the angry speech, and he warned that the pro-Trump people of the Republican Party were threatening to destroy democracy in the United States. His intensely dark demeanor along with the military presence at the speech lit people up on both sides of the political aisle.
Biden took political aim at both Donald Trump as well as all of his supporters when he declared that “MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our Republic.” He said that they are determined to take this country backward and fan the flame of political violence.
On Friday, a White House official tried to defend the president’s address and the use of the military at Independence Hall.
“The president delivered a key speech last night about our democracy and our values, the values that men and women in uniform fight every day to defend,” said the statement given to the Washington Post from an unnamed official in the Biden Administration.
“The presence of Marines at the speech was intended to demonstrate the deep and abiding respect the President has for their service to these ideals and the unique role our independent military plays in defending our democracy, no matter which party is in power,” the statement read.
The anonymous statement did little to quell the emotion after Biden’s address.
Criticism Over Marines Presence at President Biden’s Speech
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also spoke to the issue of criticism at a media briefing on Friday.
She reiterated that the presence of the Marines at the speech was supposed to demonstrate the “deep and abiding” respect that Biden has for these service members. She said that Biden wanted to represent the ideas of his administration and also the unique role that the independent military plays in defending democracy, despite what party is in power.
She then said, “And it is not abnormal. It is actually normal for Presidents from either side of the aisle to give speeches in front of members of the military, and including President Donald Rea- — Ronald Reagan, President George H.W. Bush. It is not an unusual sight or is not an unusual event to have happen.”
It was not just the GOP that was critical of Biden’s speech. Even some at CNN registered their criticism of Biden’s use of the military. Anchors Brianna Kielar and CNN reporter Jeff Zeleny both shared their thoughts on social media.
Keilar posted on Twitter that no matter what you think about the president’s words, the military is supposed to be apolitical. She felt that putting the Marines in uniform behind the president for a speech that was focused on politics “flies in the face” of them being apolitical.
And Zeleny tweeted that there was nothing wrong with Biden giving a political speech, in fact, it is “inherent” in his job description. But he should not be doing it against a “backdrop of two Marines standing at attention and the Marine Band.” He said it is “a break with White House traditions.”
Ironically, some on the left then accused CNN of being “pro-Trump, fascist, and of betraying democracy.”