Where Things Stand: Biden Will Torch ‘MAGA Republicans’ In Primetime Speech Tonight

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WILKES-BARRE, PENNSYLVANIA - AUGUST 30: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on his Safer America Plan at the Marts Center on August 30, 2022 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. President Biden visited Wilkes-Barre to speak on... WILKES-BARRE, PENNSYLVANIA - AUGUST 30: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on his Safer America Plan at the Marts Center on August 30, 2022 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. President Biden visited Wilkes-Barre to speak on the passage of his bipartisan gun safety legislation earlier this year after massacres in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas. The initial trip was cancelled after the president tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images) MORE LESS

In a primetime speech from Pennsylvania, President Biden plans to deliver a national address that has all the makings of a pre-midterms campaign speech.

Billed as a speech focused on the ongoing “battle for the soul of the nation,” the President will speak at length about the threat Trumpy extremism presents to American democracy, specifically calling out the folks he’d characterize as “MAGA Republicans,” senior administration officials told members of the media today.

That movement, he plans to say, is one that “does not recognize free and fair elections, a movement that increasingly is talking about violence in response to actions that they don’t like or don’t agree with, which is not the way democracies behave,” officials said.

Timing and location are key. Biden’s talked about the “battle for the soul of the nation” before, in 2020, on a different campaign trail. And just two months out from the midterms, as Democrats digest their evolving 2022 fortunes, speaking from Pennsylvania — the swing state and home base for crucial House, Senate and gubernatorial races — is no accident.

As Republicans witness the fallout their anti-abortion aggression has wrought in some key primary races, Democrats have injected a bit more optimism into recent messaging on the prospects of holding at least one chamber of Congress in the fall. And the bipartisan-bent Biden of 2020 has gotten a bit more fiery in his public remarks in recent weeks, pointedly attacking some components of Trumpy Republicans’ extremism out loud and in public — like when he suggested that the GOP has collectively started bear hugging “semi-fascism.”

While all these factors suggest that Biden will use tonight’s speech as a platform to reenergize the Democratic base, it will likely contain that familiar, sometimes muted Joe Reach-Across-The-Aisle Biden tone. Senior administration officials also told reporters today that the address will not be “a speech about a particular politician, or even about a particular political party.”

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