White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki shrugged off criticism of President Biden’s voting rights speech, calling it “hilarious on many levels.”
"I know there has been a lot of claims of the offensive nature of the speech yesterday, which is hilarious on many levels, given how many people sat silently over the last four years for the former president," she said at Wednesday’s press briefing.
What "is more offensive is the effort to suppress people's basic right to exercise who they want to support and who they want to elect," she added.
Jen Psaki think that it's "hilarious on many levels" that some have criticized the "offensive nature of [Biden's] speech" yesterday. pic.twitter.com/XnAq7fSJFx— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) January 12, 2022
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell railed against the president over his speech, which he said was “incorrect, incoherent, and beneath his office,” as did Sen. Mitt Romney, among many others. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) even conceded that Biden “went a little too far” while MSNBC’s Al Sharpton noted it was not a “vote-getting speech” but a “you’re going to hell” one.
In the speech, Biden compared those who don’t support Democratic efforts to fundamentally transform the U.S. election system to Bull Connor and Jefferson Davis and essentially called them domestic enemies.
Joe Biden says Americans who are opposed to his radical election overhaul bills are domestic enemies. pic.twitter.com/Lv31JYUk29— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 11, 2022
"So I ask every elected official in America, how do you want to be remembered?" Biden said in his speech. "Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?"
McConnell couldn’t believe the president would compare those who oppose the legislation to such individuals.
"How profoundly, profoundly unpresidential," McConnell said. "Look, I’ve known, liked, and personally respected Joe Biden for many years. I did not recognize the man at the podium yesterday."