Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Sunday defended a primetime speech by President Biden last week, agreeing with the notion that U.S. “democracy is at risk.”
Citing the risk to her own safety on Jan. 6, 2021, Murray told CNN “State of the Union” anchor Dana Bash that Trump supporters were willing to use “brute force” to halt the peaceful transition of power and denounced notions of political violence.
“I believe that our democracy is at risk today. I was in the nation’s Capitol on January 6. I wasn’t able to escape. I was barricaded in an office. And I heard the pounding at the door, and I heard those who were outside of it willing to use brute force incited by President Trump to take over our country, to take over our democracy, to stop the transaction to a new presidency in a peaceful way, which is what a democracy is,” Murray said.
“[W]e have to get back to a point where we all say that brute force and incitement of that brute force, and the questions that the president and his followers continue to put out there about whether or not that election was legitimate incites that,” she said.
“And we still have people today saying there will be violence on the streets. That is not what a democracy is. And we all have to point that out and work to make sure we move towards a democracy and keep that democracy,” she added.
Biden in his speech on Thursday said that Trump’s influence on the Republican party and on the MAGA-wing of the GOP was “a threat to this country.”
Biden, speaking from Independence Hall in Philadelphia, tied Trump and other so-called “MAGA Republicans” to corrosive ideas like casting doubt on election results, spreading conspiracy theories and attacking law enforcement.
“Not every Republican, not even a majority of Republicans, are MAGA Republicans. Not every Republican embraces their extreme ideology,” Biden said. “But there’s no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans. And that is a threat to this country.”
Biden’s remarks were lambasted by Republicans who have also called on him to apologize for saying that the MAGA philosophy was “semi-fascism.” In response to the pushback, White House officials defended criticisms that Biden’s speech was political, noting that defending democracy isn’t a partisan issue.
Murray is running for re-election in November for her Senate seat. She currently holds a slight lead over her opponent, Tiffany Smiley (R), according to a new Trafalgar Group poll where more than 49 percent of respondents said they will support Murray and 46 percent of those surveyed said they will support Smiley.