President Joe Biden visited Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on Tuesday to promote his Plan for a Safer America.
Biden spoke angrily about his frustration with gun violence in America.
He called out “MAGA Republicans” for saying they support the police, while refusing to condemn the January 6 attack.
President Joe Biden condemned “MAGA Republican friends” for refusing to condemn the violent attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, while saying they support law enforcement during remarks in Pennsylvania on Tuesday.
“Let me say this to my MAGA Republican friends in Congress: Don’t tell me you support law enforcement if you don’t condemn what happened on the 6th,” Biden said in Wilkes-Barre. “Don’t tell me. You can’t do it. For God’s sake. Whose side are you on?”
While many Republican lawmakers have condemned the violence during the Capitol uprising, many have opposed the House select committee investigating the uprising and downplaying the violence. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a far-right Republican from Georgia, has repeatedly insisted that rioters are being “prosecuted” by law enforcement as part of a “political witch hunt.” In February, the Republican National Committee called the January 6 riot “legitimate political speech” and censured two Republicans, Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney, who are investigating the events. A recent poll showed more Republican voters believe the riot was a “legitimate protest” rather than a “riot.” At the same time, the GOP has widely claimed to be “pro-blue” and condemned efforts to cut police funding.
Biden’s speech was filled with passion and anger as he discussed the state of crime and gun violence in America. The president was promoting his Safer America Plan, which includes a series of initiatives to support law enforcement and reduce gun violence and crime.
The plan includes funding for 100,000 additional police officers, $20 billion in agencies that address the root causes of crime and takes “joint steps” to encourage Congress to pass legislation requiring background checks on all gun sales and banning assault weapons.
Speaking at the Marts Center at Wilkes University, just outside Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, the president said the answer to creating safer communities is not “defunding the police,” but increasing funding for them.
The president continued: “I haven’t met a cop who likes a bad cop. There’s bad in everything. There’s bad senators, there’s bad presidents, there’s bad doctors, there’s bad lawyers … But I don’t know any cop that feels good about the fact that there can be a lousy policeman.’
Biden highlighted his frustration with the number of mass shootings in the US, talking about his trip to Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in May. He told Americans to ask the candidates if they support an “assault weapons ban” and if the answer is no, “don’t vote for them.”
Reflecting on his time as president, Biden said much of the criticism he received was that he was “too bipartisan.”
“Biden has a lot of Republican friends,” the president said, referring to progressive criticism of him. “There were a lot of Republicans. I worked for years with the Senate and I accomplished a lot. We respected each other. We disagreed, we disagreed on principle. Then we went to dinner together, not as a joke. What in God’s name has happened to these United States of America;”
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