Republicans mocked President Biden’s speech at Independence Hall in Philadelphia Thursday evening – in which he claimed that “equality and democracy are under assault” by “MAGA forces” – as “demagogic,” “shameful” and with a “background that looks like the Soviet Union and Hitler had a baby.”
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, who posted a photo of the president and dramatic red background, called Biden’s speech the “most demagogic, outrageous, and divisive speech I have ever seen from an American president. Joe Biden essentially declared all those who oppose him and his agenda enemies of the republic. Truly shameful.”
“Nothing screams unity like a backdrop of blood red lighting and Marines positioned behind Biden as he shouts with raised clenched fists from the podium,” Town Hall reporter Mia Cathell wrote.
Sen. Ted Cruz’s special advisor for communications, Steve Guest, simply wrote: “The lighting for Joe Biden’s speech tonight is so bad.”
Cruz himself tweeted that Biden “vilified millions of Americans in a divisive & angry speech that was detached from the reality of his political failures. He isn’t actually interested in restoring the soul of the nation, he’s only interested pitting his fellow Americans against one another.”
Former President Trump himself had a few words to say about Biden’s tough talk directed at him.
“If you look at the words and meaning of the awkward and angry Biden speech tonight, he threatened America, including with the possible use of military force,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social site. “He must be insane, or suffering from late stage dementia!”
He added, “Someone should explain to Joe Biden, slowly but passionately, that MAGA means, as powerfully as mere words can get, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! If he doesn’t want to Make America Great Again, which through words, action, and thought, he doesn’t, then he certainly should not be representing the United States of America!”
The former president also posted a photo split of Biden on one side holding his fists in the air angrily and Trump on the other kissing an American flag.
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy tweeted, “The fact that this isn’t photoshopped is surreal,” Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy tweeted, along with a photo of Biden with his fists raised in front of a backdrop of dark red lighting.”
“Everytime I think Biden and crew can’t be dumber they outdo themselves,” he added. “Seriously who gives a speech warning people about how dangerous Republicans are to Democracy while having a background that looks like the Soviet Union and Hitler had a baby?”
Conversely, Sawyer Hackett, senior adviser for Obama administration HUD Secretary Julián Castro, lambasted the media for their criticisms of the setting.
“Biden gives a speech laying out in great detail the existential threats to our democracy and the press corp is clutching their pearls about the lighting and optics. Jfc.,” he lamented.
The tone and setting of Thursday’s speech underscored Biden’s effort to portray the upcoming congressional elections as part of what a White House official said is “the continued battle for the Soul of the Nation.” The president leaned on that sort of rhetoric regularly during his 2020 presidential campaign and appears poised to bring back some of those talking points ahead of the 2022 midterms.
Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.