Joe Biden midterm mode has officially been activated.
The president traveled the country on Wednesday, sharpening his lines of attack against the Republican Party as primary season kicks into full gear. Throughout the day, he laid into the GOP and baited former President Donald Trump, even testing a new nickname for his predecessor: the great MAGA king.
“Look at my predecessor, the great MAGA king — the deficit increased every single year he was president,” Biden said in Chicago at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International convention, contrasting the deficit reductions during his tenure with Trump’s term.
With a little over six months to go until the November midterms — what is often a referendum on the president’s performance — Biden is moving into full-fledged campaign mode. The noticeable change in tone comes as economic concerns hover over Democrats’ prospects and the White House tests out a new strategy — painting a clear picture of the differences between Democrats and Trump and his followers.
With his MAGA king nickname, Biden was just getting started. At a DNC fundraiser later Wednesday, the president called his 2020 victory against Trump a “low bar,” and dug into his favorite phrase of late, “MAGA Republicans,” twice calling these politicians “petty,” “mean-spirited” and “extreme.”
“They are cowered by Trump,” Biden said, telling the audience that Democrats have to make their case in 2022. “The fact of the matter is, they run the show — the MAGA Republicans. … It really is beyond the pale.”
The president, speaking to roughly 40 guests, said the GOP has a “radical agenda” and said it isn’t “your father’s Republican Party.”
“It’s one thing to take on Disney World,” he said, referring to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ battle with Walt Disney Co. over his “Don’t Say Gay” legislation. “They’re going to storm Cinderella’s castle before this is over.”
While Biden said that the disclosure of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade could spark enthusiasm in Democratic voters, he didn’t shy away from acknowledging the rough road ahead for his party.
“Inflation is going to scare the hell out of everybody,” the president said.