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Tipsheet

KJP Calls for End to Dangerous 'Rhetoric,' But Neglects Biden's Past Remarks

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who doesn't have much success during her regular press briefings, on Sunday tried her hand on MSNBC's "The Morning Show." 

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The segment focused heavily on the attack on Paul Pelosi, during which Jean-Pierre stuck with how "we have to condemn political violence," offering "it is something that should not be controversial, it is something that should not be partisan, it is something that all of us need to say that, uh, and uh, it should be done in one voice." She lamented, "But sadly, it has become political, and we need to end this. This is what the president has said multiple times, and he's talked about it in his speeches and in his remarks."

Such claims from Jean-Pierre are particularly rich, as the White House and Biden administration were certainly lacking when it comes to the assassination plot against Justice Brett Kavanaugh following the leak of the Dobbs v. Jackson decision in early May. Both Jean-Pierre and her predecessor, Jen Psaki, downplayed the illegal protests at the home of conservative justices, with Psaki even saying they "encourage" them.

The White House statement from Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates was also full of gaslighting regarding Biden's condemnation of the assassination plot. 

Jean-Pierre then pivoted to portraying David DePape, the suspect who allegedly attacked Paul Pelosi, as someone who was at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. She opined that "the thing that was probably the most haunting about when we hear the reports of this assailant, of this attacker" was "he was--he was yelling out things that we heard during January 6, which is, 'Where is Nancy?'"

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Jean-Pierre did not acknowledge that DePape is reportedly "a former Castro nudist protester" and "hemp jewelry maker," as Spencer mentioned last Friday. 

Jean-Pierre returned to repeating how "we need to end this type of rhetoric" and that "it needs to stop, uh, and it is incredibly, incredibly dangerous."

That Jean-Pierre would lament "rhetoric" adds insult to injury, given that, as she acknowledged, President Joe Biden has made speeches where he has used particularly inflammatory language, as he has demonized "MAGA Republicans" as a supposed threat to democracy. Such rhetoric was something Jean-Pierre herself doubled down on at the podium in press briefings.

Not only did Jean-Pierre not acknowledge this, but when asked by host Jonathan Capehart about a bipartisan condemnation of the attack on Paul Pelosi and on "tamping down the rhetoric," she claimed Biden "believes in reaching out to the other side and working together." The press secretary even added, with a serious face, "This is something that you see throughout his, uh, career, so that is nothing that is unusual for him, right, to reach over to the other side." 

Jean-Pierre herself doubled down on demonizing the other side just a moment later as she ranted about "the attack that we were seeing on democracy" and how "we still have people out there who are undermining that, undermining our free and fair elections." She added, "the president has spoken to that, multiple times, in multiple speeches," claiming "what we saw on January 6 still exists, it still exists." 

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This, Jean-Pierre claimed, is why Biden ran in 2020 and why he was successful.

At the end of the segment, Jean-Pierre warned she had to be careful when speaking about elections but then went on to promote Democrats for the midterms in a last-ditch effort. "What he's out there saying," she said about the president, "is that there is a choice to be made," emphasizing "there is so much at stake, so much at stake." 

Jean-Pierre also pointed to how "there are differences to what congressional--what he and congressional Democrats are trying to do," adding "when we talk about the economy, when we talk about democracy, and what congressional Republicans are trying to do."

Multiple polls show that Republicans have the edge on what voters care about. Not only are Republicans largely expected to win control of the House, but their chances of winning control of the Senate have also been improving. 



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