President Joe Biden participates in a rally for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland, on August 25, 2022. (Photo: OLIVIER DOULIERY via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON ― Just days after hitting Donald Trump-supporting Republican office holders for their “semi-fascism,” President Joe Biden plans to continue his more aggressive recent tone Tuesday by turning the GOP’s “defunding the police” attacks back against them.
“The president will make clear that congressional Republicans’ extreme ‘MAGA’ agenda is a threat to the rule of law,” a senior White House official said on condition of anonymity. “He will say that you can’t propose defunding the FBI or defend the mob that stormed the Capitol and attacked and assaulted police officers on January 6th and be pro-police.”
MAGA is the acronym for “Make America Great Again,” a slogan adopted by the former president during his 2016 run.
On Thursday, at a gathering of Democratic donors, Biden said that Trump’s supporters have gone well beyond traditional conservatism. “It’s not just Trump,” he said. “It’s the entire philosophy that underpins the ― I’m going to say something: It’s like semi-fascism.”
Republicans have for years attacked Democrats, including Biden, as insufficiently supportive of law enforcement, and especially so after some in the party adopted the “defund the police” slogan during the 2020 nationwide protests following the murder of a Black man by white police officers in Minneapolis.
From the time of his 2020 campaign, Biden has pointed out that he has never suggested cutting funding for law enforcement, and has consistently supported providing more money for more officers and more training.
Just over a month ago, he began forcefully pushing back against GOP attacks by reminding audiences that the mob Trump called to Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, to support his coup attempt injured 140 officers defending the Capitol.
“You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-cop,” he told members of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives on July 25, and then detailed Trump’s refusal to take action to help the embattled Capitol Police for more than three hours. “You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-democracy. You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-American.”
Tuesday’s remarks, to be delivered in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, will focus on assault weapons and his continued push to ban them.
Biden will return to the theme of American democracy and the threats it faces during a primetime speech Thursday evening in Philadelphia.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.