By Samantha Flom
While President Joe Biden undoubtedly expected to receive backlash from Republicans following his Nov. 2 speech warning that “democracy is under threat” from supporters of former President Donald Trump, it is unlikely that he expected to take heat from his own party as well.
Nonetheless, Biden’s Wednesday remarks at Union Station in Washington, are drawing disapproval from all sides.
For instance, prior to the speech, former Bernie Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir expressed concern over its messaging on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“We’re in the last phase where I think you ought to be talking to a persuasion audience,” Shakir said. “And I hope there are some people at the White House watching, because when you think about this address he’s about to give tonight—I hope they’re re-writing it and focusing on cost of living.”
Shakir added that, with the midterm elections next week, he thought the president would be better off with an appeal to independent voters rather than his base.
Likewise, though former Obama strategist David Axelrod agreed with Biden’s decision to address “issues of democracy,” he acknowledged on Twitter, “Still, as a matter of practical politics, I doubt many Ds in marginal races are eager for him to be on TV tonight.”
According to recent polling, the number one issue on the minds of voters this year is the historic level of inflation plaguing the economy, and unfortunately for Democrats, 61 percent of voters say Biden and his policies are to blame.
During Biden’s Wednesday remarks, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) called the president out for his economic policies, noting on Twitter: “Americans are struggling to put food on the table because of Biden’s socialist spending spree. They do not want to hear another rambling speech from Biden.”
Meanwhile, other conservatives took issue with the divisive nature of Biden’s speech, during which he claimed that the “extreme MAGA element” of the Republican Party was trying to “suppress the right of voters and subvert the electoral system itself.”
Responding to those comments, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in a tweet: “Here we are less than a week before the Democratic Party is expected to suffer overwhelming losses in the midterm elections, and here you have the leader of that party, Joe Biden, commanding you not to complain about the election results.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, noted what Biden did not include in his speech—solutions.
“I thought it was pathetic,” Graham said. “I thought it was divisive. Not one word about, ‘How I’m going to secure a broken border, how I’m going to lower gas prices as president, how I’m going to challenge rampant crime, how I’m going to make us energy independent.’ It was about half the country basically being political terrorists.”