White House needles Kevin McCarthy for Jan. 6 ‘change of heart’
The White House needled House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for contending President Joe Biden does not understand “the soul of the nation” before Biden’s prime-time address on that theme in Philadelphia.
Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated McCarthy’s initial condemnation of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, saying that the leader has since had “a change of heart.”
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McCarthy “even formally punished fellow Republicans, like Liz Cheney, who’ve had the courage to consistently tell the truth about the attack on the rule of law and law enforcement that day,” she said of the primaried Wyoming lawmaker. “That is what we’re talking about.”
Before losing her primary, Cheney was stripped of her leadership position in the House Republican Conference.
Jean-Pierre dismissed concerns that Biden’s rhetoric regarding Republicans is stoking division after he campaigned on being a “unity” president. Instead, she repeated that the so-called “MAGA agenda” is “one of the most extreme agendas that we have seen.”
“They want a nationwide ban on abortion,” she said. “They want to give tax cuts to billionaires and corporations, while raising taxes on middle-class Americans. They are threatening political violence, and they are attacking our democracy.”
“We understand we hit a nerve,” she added. “We get that. We understand that. They’re trying to hide. And we understand that ultra-MAGA office holders want to play games here and dodge accountability for their extreme proposals and actions, but they’re just telling on themselves.”
Jean-Pierre insisted that Biden’s Philadelphia prime-time address later Thursday would be “optimistic” and “direct.” She said it would not be a political speech and previewed that it would amplify voter engagement rather than former President Donald Trump.
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“He will speak about how he believes we can get through this current moment, this critical moment that we are currently in,” she said. “He believes this is a moment where a lot is at stake.”