On Tuesday, President Biden strongly rebuked Republicans for their assaults on the FBI after the agency searched former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
At a public safety speech in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, President Biden promised his own backing for enforcement agencies while painting conservatives as anti-police because of their responses to the attack on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, and the recent incidents at Mar-a-Lago.
“Let me say this to my MAGA Republican friends in Congress: Don’t tell me you support law enforcement if you won’t condemn what happened on the 6th. Don’t tell me. Can’t do it. For God’s sake, whose side are you on?” Biden said, referring to Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan. “You’re either on the side of the mob or the side of the police.”
BIDEN: “Let me say this to my MAGA Republican friends in Congress: Don’t tell me you support law enforcement if you won’t condemn what happened on the 6th. Don’t tell me. Can’t do it. For God’s sake, whose side are you on? Whose side are you on?”
— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) August 31, 2022
He kept going: “now it’s sickening to see the new attacks on the FBI, threatening the life of law enforcement agents and their families for simply carrying out the law and doing their job.”
“Look, I want to say this as clear as I can: There’s no place in this country, no place for endangering the lives of law enforcement. None, never, period. I’m opposed to defunding the police, and I’m also opposed to defunding the FBI,” Biden said.
The phrase was an effort to show strong support for police departments to counter the idea that Democrats advocate cutting back police funding while at the same time exploiting current events to cast doubt on the backing conservatives have for law enforcement.
This month, in response to an increase in threats after the search of Mar-a-Lago, a security fence was installed outside FBI offices in Washington, D.C.
Earlier this month, the FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate as part of a probe into the whereabouts of confidential info that the president took with him when he left the White House. The move was met with widespread criticism from Republicans. The GOP’s midterm messaging has been complicated by accusations that the FBI is motivated by politics. Some hopefuls have even called for reducing budgets for the bureau.
Republicans have spoken out against the rioting on January eighteen at the Capitol, but most have refrained from criticizing Trump for his role in inciting the chaos.
The events of January 6 are rarely brought up in conversation, and Biden has made it a point to distance himself from the information that has emerged from the congressional inquiry into the invasion of the Capitol.
While campaigning for the Democrats in the impending midterm elections, he has been vocal in his condemnation of Republicans, especially those on the ballot who are in agreement with Trump.
On Thursday night, the president will return to a central topic of his 2020 campaign—protecting democracy and safeguarding what he calls the “soul of the nation”—in a prime-time address from Philadelphia.