Democrat President Joe Biden faced backlash from mainstream news reporters Thursday night after U.S. Marines were positioned behind him during a highly polarizing political speech in which the president demonized millions of Americans as being “extremists” who posed a threat to the country.
Biden repeatedly had to clear his throat and coughed throughout the speech as he sought to blame former President Donald Trump for the nation’s problems, despite Trump being out of power for almost two years and the Democrats controlling the entire federal government.
“On federal land, flanked by US Marines, President Biden ramps up his argument against his political opposition, warning of the perils of Trump-inspired politics,” White House Correspondents Association President Steven Portnoy, who works for CBS News Radio, tweeted.
“Whatever you think of this speech the military is supposed to be apolitical,” CNN host Brianna Keilar, whose husband is in the U.S. Army, tweeted. “Positioning Marines in uniform behind President Biden for a political speech flies in the face of that. It’s wrong when Democrats do it. It’s wrong when Republicans do it.”
“Like or loathe what he said tonight, it should be noted: The president spoke tonight on the grounds of a national park, flanked by US Marines, and took direct, specific aim at his predecessor and members of the Republican Party,” CBS News Senior White House Correspondent Ed O’Keefe tweeted. “Another thing we don’t see everyday.”
CNN Chief National Affairs Correspondent Jeff Zeleny tweeted, “There’s nothing unusual or wrong with a President delivering a political speech — it’s inherent in the job description — but doing it against a backdrop of two Marines standing at attention and the Marine Band is a break with White House traditions.”
“The Marines behind Biden was weird,” ABC News producer Jeffrey Cook tweeted. “If Trump did that, every Dem operative I follow would be freaking the f out.”
During the speech, Biden ignored the numerous crises that have erupted under his watch — historic gas prices, skyrocketing inflation, a historic flood of illegal aliens into the U.S., disastrous foreign policy decisions, and more — as he sought to portray his presidency as a success.
“America’s economy is faster, stronger than any other advanced nation in the world,” Biden claimed, despite the fact that the economy has sustained two consecutive negative quarters and the housing market has entered its first downturn since the Great Financial Crisis.