The White House responded to a tsunami of criticism of the politicization of the military during President Joe Biden’s speech Thursday excoriating Republican supporters of President Donald Trump.
Biden gave a scathing speech warning that the pro-Tump elements of the Republican Party were threatening to undermine Democracy in the U.S., but it was the dark tone and military presence at the speech that drew so much criticism.
On Friday, a White House official issued a defense of the use of the military in the speech given in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“The president delivered a key speech last night about our democracy and our values, the values that men and women in uniform fight every day to defend,” read the statement from the anonymous official to the Washington Post.
“The presence of Marines at the speech was intended to demonstrate the deep and abiding respect the President has for their service to these ideals and the unique role our independent military plays in defending our democracy, no matter which party is in power,” the statement read.
White House press secretary Karine Jeanne-Pierre also addressed the criticism at the media briefing Friday.
The presence of the Marines at the speech was intended to demonstrate the deep and abiding respect the President has for these services — service members, to these ideals and the unique role our independent military plays in defending our democracy, no matter which party is in power — again, no matter which power — party is in power.
And it is not abnormal. It is actually normal for Presidents from either side of the aisle to give speeches in front of members of the military, and including President Donald Rea- — Ronald Reagan, President George H.W. Bush. It is not an unusual sight or is not an unusual event to have happen.
Among those critical of Biden’s use of the military were CNN anchor Brianna Kielar and CNN reporter Jeff Zeleny.
“There’s nothing unusual or wrong with a President delivering a political speech — it’s inherent in the job description — but doing it against a backdrop of two Marines standing at attention and the Marine Band is a break with White House traditions,” tweeted Zeleny.
“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,” Keilar posted on Twitter.
Many on the left responded to the criticism by accusing CNN of being pro-Trump, fascist, and of betraying Democracy.
Here’s more about Biden’s anti-MAGA speech:
President Biden Slams MAGA Republicans in Speech