WH says it ‘hit a nerve’ as the Biden administration calls out ‘MAGA Republicans’

During the White House briefing on Thursday, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Biden’s increased criticism of “MAGA Republicans” as extreme has “hit a nerve” with them.

Video transcript

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: Democrats and people on the left are pretty happy about the more aggressive tone they're seeing from the president and the White House, but you're also facing some criticism, which has been brought up that this aggressive tone is also stoking the divisiveness that he's trying to heal. Any concerns about that?

You know, the president is never going to shy away from calling out what he sees. And I said this yesterday, and I-- and I'll say this now. You know, I'm assuming the divisive tone is coming from whom?

- From the right.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: From the right. So, look, we understand we hit a nerve. We get that. We understand that they're trying to hide. And we understand that ultra-MAGA office holders want to play games here and dodge accountability for their extreme proposals and actions, but they're just telling on themselves.

Look, the president has always, always squarely targeted his criticism on elected leaders. This is about what they're doing in congress, those extreme MAGA Republicans, those who hold office. The first time that the president said ultra-MAGA was about Rick Scott's radical plan to raise taxes on millions of middle class Americans and put Medicare on the chopping blocks, put Social Security on the chopping block.

I just mentioned national abortions, that ban that these MAGA Republicans want to do it is important to call that out. And let's not forget when you think about Medicare, when you think about Social Security, those are popular things. When you think about "Roe" and protecting women's right to choose, those are-- majority of Americans support that.

So how-- so that's what we're talking about here. We're talking about agenda that is not popular. We're talking about agendas that is incredibly extreme. We're talking about an agenda that is not in line where majority of Americans are. So yeah, the president's going to talk about that, and he's not going to shy away. But, again, this is going to be about a speech that will be optimistic, that we'll talk about participating in our democracy, and how important it is to do that, and how important it is to continue to fight.