Did we all watch the same speech?
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said on Wednesday night that President Biden’s inaugural address contained “thinly-veiled innuendo” that targeted Republicans as “liars” and “white supremacists.”
“If you read his speech and listen to it carefully, much of it is thinly-veiled innuendo calling us white supremacists, calling us racist, calling us every name in the book. Calling us people who don’t tell the truth,” Paul told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade in an interview late Wednesday.
GOP Sen. Rand Paul (KY) on Wednesday night said that Pres. Biden's inaugural address was made up of "thinly-veiled innuendo" aimed at Republicans, "calling us white supremacists, calling us racist, calling us every name in the book. Calling us people who don't tell the truth." pic.twitter.com/T6QjJT00bm
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) January 21, 2021
The Kentucky lawmaker said he interpreted Biden’s call to “reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured” as an attack on the GOP.
“Well, that’s another way of saying, all of my opponents manufacture and manipulate the truth and are liars,” Paul said. “He just said it in a nicer way. But that was really the gist of what he was telling us.”
Paul’s paranoia about the perception of Republicans comes on the heels of a GOP effort to overturn President Trump’s election loss that was intensified after the former president’s supporters, among them a great many white supremacists, stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Paul made no effort to acknowledge this truth, and his criticism of the address comes after Biden’s first message as president was widely received as one of unity.
“I believe the message is essential for our country right now,” Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) said of Biden’s speech, according to a pool report on Wednesday.
“Our devotion to facts and to a willingness to come together as a people is essential if we’re going to overcome the challenges of our age,” he added.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said that Biden’s remarks covered “all of the important stuff.”
“I thought it was very well done. I thought it was what we needed,” she said, according to the pool.
Fox News’ Chris Wallace had also lauded Biden’s speech on the conservative news network, calling it “the best inaugural address I ever heard.”
“There was a mob of thugs, of insurrectionists, of domestic terrorists on the inaugural stand,” Wallace said on Wednesday. “And Joe Biden was saying that democracy prevailed. We were able to get through that, and he was talking about how we need to get through that in the future if we are going to be a united country.”