Biden is chasing the House GOP’s “thin” midterm agenda

Biden’s speech is part of a broader effort by the President and the Democratic Party to capitalize on recent political victories and highlight their differences with Republicans ahead of November’s midterm elections. The president’s remarks came just hours after McCarthy’s event in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, where he presented the House GOP platform, called the “Pledge for America.”

“House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy went to Pennsylvania and presented what he calls the ‘Pledge to America.’ It’s a thin line of policy goals that he says Republicans will achieve if they take back control of Congress,” Biden told a packed audience Friday at a Democratic National Committee event. , at the headquarters of the National Education Association. Washington.

He added: “In almost an hour, here are some things we didn’t hear: We didn’t mention the right to choose, we didn’t mention Medicare, we didn’t hear. He mentions Social Security.”

McCarthy’s plan focused on four main areas: the economy, crime and border security, education, and government accountability. There’s also a nod to the culture wars, with Republicans vowing to make sure “only women can compete in women’s sports.” But the document is generally vague on specific policy details, making vague promises like protecting “the lives of unborn children and their mothers” without specifying how they intend to do so.

In his remarks on Friday, the president highlighted policy wins since taking office, including Roe v. He promised to codify Wade, protect Social Security and pass an assault weapons ban if Democrats retain control of Congress.

Biden specifically called out Republicans for supporting the false claim that Donald Trump had won the 2020 presidential election, arguing that it has become a test of “loyalty to Donald Trump.” The president said that while not all Republicans are “MAGA Republicans,” it is “in his mind” that “MAGA Republicans” control the party. He also criticized Republicans who have not condemned the insurgency and called out GOP members for supporting calls to defund the FBI.

“Don’t tell me you support law enforcement if you can’t condemn what happened on Jan. 6,” Biden said, referring to the 2021 Capitol riot, adding, “You can’t be pro-law and pro-riot. You can’t claim to be pro-democracy and call those who attacked police on Jan. 6 patriotic. ».

The president’s Republican attempt to ban abortions, which the GOP has opposed in the past tax cuts, “benefited the top 1%” and opposed efforts the party said would make communities safer.

Democrats have taken advantage of a proposal by Senator Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, which would ban abortion in most cases before 15 weeks of pregnancy. And in Friday’s speech, Biden was particularly bent on criticizing Republican attempts to curtail abortion access, though he had previously been wary of discussing it publicly at length.

“In 46 days, America will choose,” the president said. “If the Republicans win control of Congress, abortion will be banned. And by the way, it will be banned initially. But if they win Congress, I will veto it.”

The White House is still eyeing the GOP agenda proposed by Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, which calls for the federal law to expire every five years unless Congress reauthorizes it.

Biden on Friday criticized the House GOP’s goal of “longer, healthier lives for Americans,” saying it “sounds great” but argued that it is not what the GOP stands for.

“Already, 158 House Republicans have signed a Republican budget that will cut Medicare and Social Security,” Biden said.

Biden’s speech on Friday was part of a series of political appearances in the remaining weeks leading up to the term. Democrats in Roe v. The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Wade has led to a series of grassroots legislative victories and increased backlash for the candidates.

Earlier this week, while in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, Biden participated in several political fundraisers. Next Tuesday, the president is scheduled to attend a DNC rally in Florida.

CNN’s Melanie Zanona and Phil Mattingly contributed to this report.