Biden backtracks, says Rep. Lawler not a ‘MAGA Republican’ after using his image to target GOP

Biden backtracks, says Rep. Lawler not a ‘MAGA Republican’ after using his image to target GOP

President Biden appears to have changed his mind about a GOP lawmaker, just 10 days after including the congressman’s image in a tweet attacking “MAGA Republicans in Congress.”

Biden’s remarks about Rep. Mike Lawler, RN.Y., came during the president’s Wednesday trip to upstate New York, where he spoke at SUNY Westchester Community College in Valhalla about the debt limit and blamed the Republicans.

“Republican Congressman Mike Lawler is also here,” Biden said after taking the stage. “Mike’s on the other team, but you know what? Mike’s the kind of guy I was in Congress with – he’s the kind of Republican I used to deal with.”

“He’s not one of those MAGA Republicans, which I’m going to talk about a bit,” Biden added of Lawler. “I don’t want to get him in trouble by saying anything nice or bad about him, but thanks for coming, Mike.”


President Biden said Wednesday that Rep. Mike Lawler, RN.Y., was not a “MAGA Republican,” despite including the lawmaker’s image in a tweet targeting the so-called group last month. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP, Victor Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Biden’s remarks about Lawler come after he included an image of the lawmaker in an April 30 tweet that targeted “MAGA Republicans in Congress” for their views on a measure related to veterans’ health care.

“We have a sacred obligation to care for the men and women who fought to protect our freedom. This is how MAGA Republicans in Congress have chosen to repay them,” Biden wrote in a tweet.

The tweet included several head shots of some of the Republican lawmakers, including Lawler, who voted against the measure.

Biden’s quip came on the same day as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) — led by House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York and committee chairwoman Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash . — called Lawler a “rubber stamp” for the GOP’s “far-right extremist agenda.”

“Despite highly vulnerable Republican Mike Lawler’s attempts to mislead New Yorkers, his record since entering Congress proves that the increasingly threatened congressman is just an automatic buffer for his MAGA colleagues to put down. jobs, safety, health care, reproductive rights and financial security are at risk,” the DCCC wrote in a press release Wednesday.

“Voters in the Hudson Valley have seen time and time again that Mike Lawler would put New Yorkers at risk just to please his extremist party leaders. No amount of false moderation will hide Lawler’s clear embrace of dangerous GOP extremism,” DCCC spokesman Nebeyatt Betre said.


Joe Biden in New York

President Biden arrives to explain why Congress must avoid default by lifting the debt ceiling at SUNY Westchester Community College in Valhalla, New York, May 10, 2023. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) also weighed in on Biden’s apparent gaffe, concluding in a press release titled “Be Like Mike” that the president “had some nice things to say about Congressman Mike Lawler” during of his trip to Empire State on Wednesday.

“Despite the DCCC’s repeated lies about Congressman Lawler’s positions, Lawler is a pragmatic congressman who strives to negotiate and avoid a government default, something extreme House Democrats could learn from. thing or two,” the NRCC wrote.

“What he said,” NRCC spokeswoman Savannah Viar wrote in a statement, referring to Biden’s remarks about Lawler.

Biden’s rhetoric about “MAGA Republicans” – a reference to former President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan – stems from the administration’s broader approach to portraying Republicans as unwilling to work with Democrats in both the House and Senate on a number of issues that would include rampant spending.

Mike Lawler

Rep. Mike Lawler, RN.Y., is seen outside a House Republican Conference meeting at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)


Last month, at a reception for the Democratic National Committee, Biden claimed that “MAGA Republicans” were trying to undo progress made in the United States.

“MAGA Republicans are trying to roll us back,” Biden said. “But together, we’re not going to let them. Not an inch back. Instead, our program is going to keep pushing us forward and building on the progress we’ve made. And we need to finish that job. “

Biden, 80,’s comments about Lawler came just over two weeks after an April 25 announcement that he and Vice President Kamala Harris would seek re-election in 2024.

Fox News’ Landon Mion contributed to this article.


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