President Joe Biden tried Friday to walk back his dark political speech from the night before after receiving considerable backlash for trying to portray supporters of former President Donald Trump as radical extremists who threatened the United States.
“I don’t consider any Trump supporter to be a threat to the country,” Biden replied when asked by reporters at the White House about why he decided to say that Trump and his supporters were a threat to democracy.
The president tried to narrow his definition of exactly who he was talking about when he said “Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans are a threat to the very soul of this country” in his speech Thursday night at Independence Hall in Pennsylvania.
“I do think anyone who calls for the use of violence and fails to condemn violence when it’s used, refuse to acknowledge an election has been won, insists upon changing the way in which the rule – you count votes,” he said. “That is a threat to democracy. Democracy. And everything we stand for.”
Biden tried to walk back his darker assertions, noting that all Trump supporters did not support everything he did.
“When people voted for Donald Trump and support him now, they weren’t voting for attacking the Capitol. They weren’t voting for overruling an election,” he said. “They were voting for a philosophy that he put forward.”
Biden said he was only talking about people in the country who were violent election deniers.
“So I am not talking about anything other than it is inappropriate and it’s not only happening here but in other parts of the world, where there’s a failure to recognize and condemn violence whenever it’s used for political purposes, failure to condemn the manipulation of electoral outcomes. Failure to acknowledge when elections were won or lost,” he said.