President Biden mused that the so-called MAGA Republican movement may actually be anemic, but is still dangerous.
“I think that this is the last gasp or maybe the first big gasp of the MAGA Republicans. And I think Trump has concluded that he has to win,” Biden told ProPublica in an interview released Sunday.
Interviewer John Harwood asked Biden if the threat to democracy could be smaller than feared due to the lack of violence in the 2022 midterm elections.
“I think the opposite thing is happening, John,” Biden said.”[Trump] will pull out all the stops. I mean, the quotes he uses are just — I never thought I’d hear a president say some of the stuff he say.”
Last Thursday, Biden delivered an address warning about the state of US democracy — his fourth speech on the topic, according to the White House.
Biden alleged that “Trump and the MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy American democracy” and sharply rebuked “extremists in Congress” who want to “burn the place down.”
His speech took place in the purple state of Arizona, where the Biden campaign hoped to fortify its gains there during 2020 election.
Trump, who is facing a four-count federal indictment over his alleged scheme to thwart the 2020 election, has also accused Democrats of undercutting democracy.
The 14th Amendment stipulates that “No person shall be a senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of president…shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion.” Proponents argue that Trump’s actions surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol riot disqualify him.
“I’m not going to opine on that right now,” Biden said when asked about whether Trump should be disqualified, noting that “a lot of serious constitutional scholars” disagree on the matter.
The octogenarian president was also uneasy about whether the conservative majority Supreme Court “is upholding and will uphold the rule of law.”
“I worry because I know that if the other team of MAGA Republicans win, they don’t want to pull the rule of law, they want to get rid of the FBI,” Biden said.
“I do think at the end of the day, this court, which has been one of the most extreme courts — I still think on the basic fundamentals of rule of law that they would sustain the rule.”
Biden also re-upped his support for ethics reforms for the high court in light of recent scandals such as Justice Clarence Thomas’ undisclosed benefits from GOP megadonor Harlan Crow.
Numerous polls have pegged unease among voters, including a majority of Democrats about Biden’s age. At 80, he is the oldest sitting US president in history and will be 86 by the conclusion of a second hypothetical term.
“I’m not the only Democrat who can protect [democracy]. I just happen to be the Democrat who I think is best position to see to it that the guy [who has us] worried about taking on democracy is not president,” Biden said.
Biden further cautioned that “democracy is in jeopardy in other parts of the world as well” and that it would be cataclysmic for the free world if it “fails here.”
Still, he ended on a somewhat upbeat note about his faith in the American public writ large.
“I really do believe that the vast majority the American people are decent, honorable, straightforward. I mean, I think it’s a minority of minority [that’s the problem],” Biden said.