During an appearance on CNN, longtime Republican official Peter Wehner, who worked with President Reagan and both Bush presidencies, told host Jake Tapper that he thinks President Biden’s comments condemning the MAGA wing of the GOP were accurate and said GOP leaders are “cowards” for endangering democracy by being afraid of criticizing Donald Trump.
Wehner’s accusation came after being asked by Tapper to comment on Trump’s attacks against the FBI and the justice department and Kevin McCarthy’s criticism of Biden calling Trump’s actions ‘semi-fascist.”
“There was a lot of criticism by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and others when President Biden use the term semi-fascist to describe this Trump Maga movement. But what do you call it?” Tapper asked. “I mean, your enemy your law enforcement and your opponents, your political opponents are enemies. They talk about locking people up because they disagree with them. They’re trying to overturn the election. I’m not using a term for it. But if semi-fascist isn’t the right term for that, what is the right term for it?”
“Well, I think semi-fascist works, I think authoritarian works,” Wehner replied. “I mean, there are a lot of political scientists, and theorists who can argue what particular term it’s best. But underneath it all is this movement. This mindset, this disposition, which is to attack democracy and to attack truth,” he added.
He then lambasted Republican leaders, especially Kevin McCarthy, for cowering as democracy is being threatened by Trump.
“I mean, he went through he [McCarthy] was a lapdog for Trump, using the most extreme rhetoric including what we saw over the weekend.” And I should say that President Biden, because he qualified the semi-fascist comments, he said that it had to do with people who either condone violence acted with violence, or didn’t recognize an election so he was actually careful in what he said.”
“Look, the Republican Party, people like McCarthy are eager to be offended. They are always going on the offensive. They’re lashing out. That’s the temper, the mood of the base, and they’re cowards. They’re hollow and, and they’re doing whatever the base wants.” he said. That combination of Trump and a radicalized face and a timid and cowardly political leadership and the Republican Party has created a real danger to democracy. This is a tinderbox and these guys are using blow torches.”
Watch the interview below from CNN: