U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the 29th AFL-CIO Quadrennial Constitutional Convention at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, U.S., June 14, 2022.
Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters
President Joe Biden had a message for lawmakers who defended the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol as he touted his Safer America Plan Tuesday.
“Let me say this to my ‘MAGA Republican’ friends in Congress,” the president said, referring to former President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan. “Don’t tell me to support law enforcement if you won’t condemn what happened on the sixth.”
“For God’s sake, whose side are you on?” Biden added.
Biden admonished the lawmakers as he called for more funding for police before a crowd at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Investments in community policing and crime prevention are key policy components of his Safer America Plan, and Biden urged communities to use federal funds to supplement local police as early as May.
The president also chided Trump’s supporters in the GOP for taking the mantle as the “law and order” party while defending the insurrectionists who attacked Capitol Police and Metro Police officers.
“You can’t be pro-law enforcement and pro-insurrection,” he stated. “You can’t be a party of law and order and call the people who attacked the police on Jan. 6, patriots. You can’t do it.”
Biden recently slammed the “MAGA philosophy” as “like semi-fascism,” which angered the Republican National Committee. RNC spokesperson Nathan Brand called the president’s remarks “despicable.”
Biden also renewed his commitment to banning assault weapons, saying America’s lax gun laws contributed to mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas; Newtown, Connecticut; Buffalo, New York and several others.
“It’s time to hold every elected official’s feet to the fire and ask them, ‘Are you for banning assault weapons? Yes or no?’ The answer’s no, vote against them,” he said.
Biden ended his speech by asking the crowd to vote for Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. and Democratic senatorial candidate John Fetterman. Fetterman is running against Trump-endorsed candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz in a highly publicized race.
The president is scheduled to return to Pennsylvania Thursday for a prime-time speech on the “continued battle for the soul of the nation” at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia.