WASHINGTON — Senators returned to Washington, D.C. last week from the August Recess and many of the GOP members were enraged over Democrats.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) was furious when Raw Story asked him about whether Republicans want Donald Trump to stand next to them during the 2022 campaign season. Immediately he lashed out at President Joe Biden for the speech he made about radical right-wing extremists and domestic terrorism.
Sunday marked the 21st anniversary of Sept. 11, when America was attacked by al-Qaeda terrorists, which launched two wars that lasted until only recently. Republicans frequently demanded to know why political leaders wouldn't attack "radical Islamic terrorism," accusing Democrats of refusing to even say the words publicly. After 21 years, however, the terrorism has become homegrown and it's Republicans who seem unwilling to talk about domestic extremism.
Barrasso, a strong McConnell ally, lambasted Biden for refusing to talk about "prices," which is what he says Americans truly care about. For months, the Republican talking points have been about gas prices as a top concern and claims Americans would be voting on that and inflation in November. After moves by the president to release more of the reserves and threatening action on price gouging, gas prices have come down.
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Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) told Raw Story that he never actually heard Trump's speech when he came to his state but that he did hear reports about Trump's promise to pardon Jan. 6 insurrectionists. For Democrats, however, it's often times difficult for statewide candidates to win across the board, but Casey said that both Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Attorney General Josh Shapiro are doing exceptionally well.
"In both races, they will garner significant Republicans support, maybe more Republican support than anyone would have imagined," said Casey. He went on to say that there are parts of the state where Republicans are "trying to disassociate themselves from the hard-right or the MAGA Republicans, whatever you want to call that part of their party. A lot of these voters are having real doubts about whether they want extreme candidates to be their governor or senator."
He went on to say that the more Trump seems to go out and do rallies the more he divides the GOP.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said that Biden's speech didn't change anyone's mind and he wouldn't have said it the way that Biden did.
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"I'm hoping that people start seeing the facts about what's been coming out," he went on. "It's been atrocious and people have been turning a blind eye to it. I'm hoping they're seeing the truth."
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) confessed that after all that Trump has done over the past six years, "there's not a lot that shocks people in Connecticut at this point."
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) recalled President Joe Biden's announcement speech made in the early days of the 2020 election season. He was chastised by other Democrats for being too optimistic and too pollyannaish for believing that bipartisanship could still happen at the time of such division.
"If you listened to his entire speech and not the few snippets," Coons said of Biden's more recent speech about the domestic terror threats the U.S. faces from right-wing extremists. "He dedicated a lot of time to being optimistic, and to being clear that he believes that the vast majority of Americans don't support political violence and don't believe in overturning elections by force."
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"When the former president was in Pennsylvania, I think it was the next day, if reelected I will offer a pardon to those who assaulted the officers at the capitol I think that's what President Biden is talking about," Coons said.
He went on to say that from Delaware he sees a lot of campaign ads and that the 2022 election isn't about Biden vs. Trump. His example was looking at Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania. Coons said that the race isn't about Trump there, it's about who's from Pennsylvania and shares Pennsylvania values and who has ideas for saving manufacturing and jobs in the state.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had another opinion entirely, saying that Democrats like Biden are only attacking MAGA violence "because they can't run on their policy agenda. The Biden agenda has been a miserable failure." He went on to talk about gas prices "through the roof" and inflation that the whole world appears to be suffering under. He went on to say that crime was out of control, which has seen a slight uptick beginning under the Trump administration, the BBC reported.
"All of the radical left Democratic policies are profoundly unpopular," Cruz claimed falsely. That's the reason he says that Democrats are talking about fascism, before falsely characterizing it as half of the country, he said, falling under that violent extremist banner. In fact, an overwhelming majority of Americans don't support the political violence being seen.
Since taking office, Biden passed landmark legislation that Republicans opposed that continue to be popular among voters. The COVID-19 bailout was his first, followed by the infrastructure and jobs plan. He then signed two stopgap measures in Sept. 2021 and Dec. 2021 to avoid the government shutdowns Trump kept having. Biden then passed the chips bill that would require semiconductors be made in the United States again, which will dramatically expand manufacturing in the U.S. Finally, he passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which will lower prescription drug prices, tackle climate change, reduce the deficit and issue a minimum tax on profits of the largest corporations in the U.S.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) called all Democrats "deranged."
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) said that people don't care about political violence from the far-right in West Virginia and are focused on their own economy.
But it was Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) that gave the most interesting details about Trump in his state, saying that people were interested in the infrastructure projects that are starting.
Kaine said that Trump isn't a factor in elections in Virginia, but it's clear he's trying to make himself a factor. In fact, Kaine confessed that not one person asked him about Trump or MAGA policies in Virginia. They simply don't care about him anymore, he said.
With additional reporting by Matt Laslo