By Coy Knobel, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming is a state where people have views that President Joe Biden recently said threaten the very foundation of our nation. That threat, he said, is “MAGA Republicans.”
Many Wyoming Republicans proudly embrace former President Donald Trump and his “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) slogan.
President Biden in his “Battle for the Soul of the Nation” speech Sept. 1 at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia said “there is no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven, and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to this country.”
But Biden said not every Republican is a MAGA Republican, just the ones that embrace this “extreme” ideology. What is a MAGA Republican? Biden said, “MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people.”
“They refuse to accept the results of a free election. And they’re working right now, as I speak, in state after state to give power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election deniers to undermine democracy itself,” Biden said.
Wyoming GOP U.S. Senator John Barrasso told Cowboy State Daily in an email through his press office that the president was focusing on the wrong things and that Biden was out of line with his comments.
“Wyoming families are worried about buying groceries, filling their gas tanks, and being able to pay their bills. Joe Biden didn’t talk about any of that because he knows Democrat policies are toxic. Joe Biden and the Democrats are out of touch on the issues families care about most,” Barrasso said.
“President Biden promised he would unite the country, not divide it. Calling half the country semi-fascists is wrong and he should apologize for it,” he said.
In Wyoming, Republicans dominate the political landscape and they do not like Biden’s job performance.
According to the Wyoming Secretary of State’s office, Trump received more than 70% of the vote, about 193,500 votes to Biden’s nearly 73,500 votes, in the 2020 election. Republican percentages were similar in other statewide races that year and also in 2018.
A poll conducted in the spring showed 76% of Wyomingites disapproved of Biden’s job performance, the highest disapproval rating in the nation at the time of the survey.
GOP U.S. House candidate Harriet Hageman beat incumbent and Trump-critic Liz Cheney in the Wyoming GOP primary election by more than 63,000 votes. Secretary of State GOP primary election winner State Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, beat his leading opponent, State Sen. Tara Nethercott, R-Cheyenne, by about 13,000 votes. Both Hageman and Gray have voiced doubt about the soundness of the 2020 presidential election.
Cheney preceded Biden in calling the Republican Party “sick” and a cult of personality formed around Trump.
“Our nation is barreling, once again towards crisis, lawlessness, and violence. No American should support election deniers for any position of genuine responsibility where their refusal to follow the rule of law will corrupt our future,” Cheney said after the Wyoming primary election.
Former president Trump weighed in on the current president’s speech.
At a rally for GOP candidates on Saturday in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Trump called Biden “extreme”, blasted him for vilifying 75 million American citizens and giving, “…the most vicious, hateful and divisive speech ever delivered by an American president.”
Other critics of Biden’s speech, including some on the left, charged that it was inappropriate for Biden to give a campaign-style speech flanked by Marines. CNN anchor Brianna Keilar Tweeted that the military should be left out of politics.
“Whatever you think of this speech the military is supposed to be apolitical. Positioning Marines in uniform behind President Biden for a political speech flies in the face of that. It’s wrong when Democrats do it. It’s wrong when Republicans do it,” she said.
A reporter, during Biden Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s Sept. 2 White House briefing, asked Jean-Pierre why “the president delivered what sounded very much like a politically charged speech as an official White House event, taxpayer-funded, with two Marines in uniform, in particular, flanking him and visible on camera throughout the speech.”
Jean-Pierre said the Marines were there out of the respect the president has for service members. She said that protecting democracy is not political.
“I would argue, the way many Americans across the country see it is standing up for democracy is not political, denouncing political violence is not political, defending rights and freedom is not political, making clear that the challenges facing the nation is not political. We don’t call any of that political. We see that as leadership. And we see that as presidential,” Jean-Pierre said.
Biden said, “MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards… to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love.”
He said these Republicans promote tyrannical leaders, violence and consider “the mob that stormed the United States Capitol on January 6th” to be patriots.
“They promote authoritarian leaders, and they fan the flames of political violence that are a threat to our personal rights, to the pursuit of justice, to the rule of law, to the very soul of this country,” Biden said.
He called on the nation to come together to defend democracy.
“Democrats, independents, mainstream Republicans: We must be stronger, more determined, and more committed to saving American democracy than MAGA Republicans are to destroying American democracy,” Biden said.
Biden went on to list some of his accomplishments while in office including infrastructure spending, economic recovery from COVID, gun control, lowering prescription drug prices and climate initiatives. He said America is destined for great things including curing cancer and creating a new clean energy economy with millions of jobs.