McCarthy to call on Biden to apologize after ‘semi-fascism’ remark

McCarthy is set to take on Biden in a prebuttal speech ahead of the President’s prime-time address later in the evening.

“President Biden has chosen to divide, demean, and disparage his fellow Americans — simply because they disagree with his policies,” McCarthy will say, according to the excerpts.

He will add, according to the excerpts: “When the President speaks tonight at Independence Hall, the first lines out of his mouth should be to apologize for slandering tens of millions of Americans as ‘fascists.'”

Biden has likened the philosophy that underpins Trump and those who have stood by him to “semi-facism” — comments that Republicans have seized on to criticize the President.

“What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy,” Biden recently told a group of Democratic donors at a private home in Maryland.

“It’s not just Trump,” he went on, “it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something: It’s like semi-fascism.”

McCarthy’s prebuttal speech will mark an effort to counter the President’s message — ahead of the 2022 midterms as Republicans fight to win back control of the House of Representatives.

The message delivered by McCarthy could be a sign of what’s to come should he remain leader of the House GOP if Republicans take over. And his remarks will offer Republicans a chance to counter what Biden is expected to say in his primetime address with the key battleground state of Pennsylvania serving as the backdrop for both speeches. McCarthy’s speech will take place in Biden’s hometown of Scranton.

A previous news release said McCarthy would also focus on crime and inflation in his speech.

Biden, meanwhile, is expected to reinforce the offensive against extremism in the Republican Party that he has recently made a focus of his messaging as he seeks to tie GOP candidates to his White House predecessor, framing the midterms as a second round against Trump.

“What Joe Biden doesn’t understand is that the soul of America is the tens of millions of hard-working people, loving families, and law-abiding citizens whom he vilified for simply wanting a stronger, safer, and more prosperous country,” McCarthy will say in his remarks, according to the excerpts.

CNN’s Kevin Liptak contributed.

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