By Bill Pan
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu on Sunday said President Joe Biden should apologize for labeling Republicans who support the “Make America Great Again” movement as advocates of “semi-fascism.”
Appearing on CNN program “State of the Union,” Sununu said that Biden’s remarks were “horribly inappropriate” and “insulting” to those voted for Donald Trump’s MAGA agenda, who accounted for half of voters in the past two presidential elections.
“The president would go out and just insult half of America, because, effectively, half of America votes Republican, half of America ultimately votes Democrat,” the Republican governor said, adding that Biden was “trying to stir up this anti-Republican sentiment right before the election.”
“It’s insulting. And people should be insulted by it. And he should apologize,” he said.
Sununu went on to point out that Biden’s “polarizing” comments were quite the opposite of his 2020 campaign promise to unify America.
“When we allow ourselves just to talk in these extremes, we polarize the country, we bring people further apart,” he said. “If I remember, this was the guy that the candidate to be president at the time said he was going to bring everybody together and then calls half of Americans fascists.”
During an Aug. 25 fundraiser event in Bethesda, Maryland, Biden described the MAGA movement as the “death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy.”
“It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the—I’m going to say something, it’s like semi-fascism,” Biden told his party’s donors.
Speaking later at a campaign rally in a Rockville, Maryland, high school gym, Biden added that he “can deal with” Republicans like Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, whom he called someone “within the mainstream of the Republican Party”
“I respect conservative Republicans. I don’t respect these MAGA Republicans,” Biden spoke of Hogan.
Hogan, during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, blamed the Trump administration for not doing enough to help his state curb the spread of the virus. He also publicly stated that he didn’t vote for Trump in the 2020 election. In response, Trump denounced Hogan as a “shutdown RINO” and said the governor had “less than a zero percent chance” of becoming the 2024 Republican presidential nominee.
Hogan and Trump carried their fight to last month’s Republican gubernatorial primary. Hogan, who has hit his two-term limit, endorsed his former commerce secretary, Kelly Schulz. Trump, however, backed Dan Cox, a state legislator who questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 election results and criticized Hogan’s handling of the pandemic. Cox defeated Schultz by a nearly 16 percentage point margin.