Biden’s Hitler-Esque Speech Was Even Too Much for CNN

I must admit that I’m still trying to wrap my head around Biden’s primetime speech on Thursday evening. Who thought this was a good idea?

Biden’s message was bad enough—his political opponents are fascists, and if you don’t support him and the Democrats, you’re a fascist, too—but the staging felt like something from 1933 Germany, and the ominous red lighting in the background didn’t help.

The optics were so bad that even some at CNN were alarmed by the spectacle.

The use of the Marines behind Biden for such a blatantly political speech was criticized by the network’s chief national affairs correspondent, Jeff Zeleny.

“There’s nothing unusual or wrong with a President delivering a political speech — it’s inherent in the job description,” Zeleny tweeted. “But doing it against a backdrop of two Marines standing at attention and the Marine Band is a break with White House traditions.”

CNN’s Brianna Keilar agreed, saying it “flies in the face” of the notion that the American military is “supposed to be apolitical.”

“Whatever you think of this speech the military is supposed to be apolitical,” Keilar 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.”

The overtly partisan nature of the speech also didn’t sit well with CNN contributor Scott Jennings. “This was a very, very partisan speech. His core message to me was if you don’t vote Democrat, we don’t have a democracy anymore, so that’s not going to land very well at all with any Republican voter, no matter what kind of Republican they consider [themselves to be].”

Of course, not everyone on the network had the same response.

CNN correspondent Eva McKend, for example, dubbed the speech “very, very patriotic.”

“And something else that really stuck out to me is that he almost seemed to be reclaiming patriotism. Often you hear Republicans argue that they are the pro-America party. The Democrats are not patriotic enough. But what was more pro-USA than this speech?” she asked. “And I think this is exactly what Democratic voters wanted to hear. We honor the will of the people, right? A nod to our democracy but also a nod to preserving reproductive rights. He is the president of all America. We are still at our core a democracy. I mean all of these things, it was a very, very patriotic speech, and I think that that is a lot of what Democratic voters across the country—they want to be patriotic, too. They want to be part of the American story, too. I think he spoke to that.”

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