President Joe Biden had a message for lawmakers who defended the Jan. 6, 2021, riot on 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 for those who won’t condemn what happened on the sixth.”
“For God’s sake, whose side are you on?” Biden said.
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 the president urged communities to make use of federal funds to complement local police as early as May.
Biden also chided Trump’s supporters within the GOP for claiming the mantle because the “law and order” party while defending the insurrectionists who attacked law enforcement officials in Washington, D.C., last 12 months.
“You possibly can’t be pro-law enforcement and pro-insurrection,” he said. “You possibly can’t be a celebration of law and order and call the individuals who attacked the police on Jan. 6, patriots. You possibly 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; and Buffalo, Recent York, amongst other locations.
“It is time to hold every elected official’s feet to the fireplace and ask them, ‘Are you for banning assault weapons? Yes or no?’ The answer is no, vote against them,” he said.
Biden ended his speech by asking the group 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 Senate 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.