Republicans Wednesday attacked President Biden’s surprise Capitol Hill speech on “preserving and protecting our democracy” as out of touch with the issues Americans care about ahead of the midterms.
“Voters have been pleading for help from this Democrat administration on inflation, crime, and a lawless Southern Border,” Senate GOP Conference Chair John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told Fox News Digital. “Meanwhile, Joe Biden is giving another mumbling speech about anything but America’s priorities.
Barrasso added: “Joe Biden has no plan for the pain he helped cause.”
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., the House Republican Conference chair, told Fox News Digital that Biden’s speech is an effort to distract from issues she says are harmful to Democrats. In the process, she said, Biden is set to “smear millions of patriots.”
President Biden’s planned speech at a DNC event at Union Station Wednesday appears that it will have a similar theme to recent remarks Biden gave in Philadelphia, where he assailed ‘MAGA Republicans’ (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)
“Joe Biden is desperately trying to change the narrative away from the crises of his own making with less than one week before Election Day,” Stefanik said. “He is woefully out-of-touch with the American people who care about what is happening in their communities as they suffer from an inflation crisis, an energy crisis, crime crisis, and border crisis because of one-party Democrat rule.”
“Unless he’s talking about inflation, gas prices, crime, or his self-inflicted border crisis, Biden is proving he’s just as clueless about what voters are focused on as we thought,” Senate Republican Conference Vice Chair Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, also told Fox News Digital.
Biden’s speech won’t actually be on Capitol grounds. It’s expected to happen at Union Station, which is just a few hundred yards away from the U.S. Capitol and considered a part of the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is running the event.
But Biden’s team is leaning hard into the “Capitol Hill” symbolism in the speech, which it appears will have a similar theme to Biden’s recent address in Philadelphia.
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, told Fox News Digital Wednesday that President Biden is “just as clueless about what voters are focused on as we thought.” (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
“He’ll be making the speech from Capitol Hill. And why will he be making the speech from Capitol Hill? Because on January 6th, we saw violence geared towards subverting democratic processes there,” Biden adviser Anita Dunn said at an event hosted by Axios Wednesday.
In his remarks in Philadelphia in September, Biden said “equality and democracy are under assault” by “MAGA Republicans” who are “determined to take this country backwards.”
A press release from the DNC said Biden will “address the threat of election deniers and those who seek to undermine faith in voting and democracy.”
“President Biden has been speaking about democracy for the entire time he’s been in office,” White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jen O’Malley Dillon also said at the Axios event. “I think you can expect to hear from him this evening similar to what he’s been saying over the course of the last several months, that there is a lot at stake, including democracy, and that everyone has a role on that.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and President Biden speak about the party’s chances in the midterms on a tarmac during Biden’s visit to Syracuse on Oct. 27, 2022. (White House Travel Pool)
Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., meanwhile, mocked Biden for speaking at Union Station, which over the past few years has often been overrun with homeless people and encampments. City authorities have recently aimed to clean up the area.
“Biden’s speech tonight is an act of desperation and fails to address the issues impacting the American people’s lives,” Donalds said. “He’s also doing the speech in the backdrop of one of the most crime and homeless-ridden areas in the nation’s Capitol, underscoring the Democrats’ soft-on-crime policies and failures of progressive policies.”
“We’ll be watching,” National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer, R-Minn., said. “Hopefully President Biden will use this opportunity to tell the American people how he plans to finally address the rising cost of living, rampant crime, and lawlessness at our southern border.”
Emmer also quipped that Biden, whose approval ratings have dragged down Democrats ahead of the midterms, should give more speeches across the country – on the NRCC’s dime.
Election Day is Tuesday, and control of both the House and Senate is at stake. Republicans are favored to win the House and the Senate is considered a toss-up.
Fox News’ Kelly Phares, Kristen Gubala, Ben Florance and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.
Tyler Olson is a reporter covering the Senate for Fox News Digital.