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Biden Uses U.S. Marines as Props for Political Speech at Independence Hall

By CNSNews.com Staff | September 2, 2022 | 2:52pm EDT
(Photo by Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - President Joe Biden used two members of the U.S. Marine Corps as props to stand behind him outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Thursday night as he delivered a speech attacking what he called “MAGA Republicans.”

“Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal,” Biden said in his speech.

“Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,” said Biden.

As Biden was saying these words—and throughout this speech, two uniformed Marines stood behind him, flanking one of the doors of Independence Hall, which was illuminated by red lights.

At Friday’s White House press briefing, reporter asked Biden spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre: “Where does the president think the line should be drawn for having members of the military, who could be perceived as being part of stagecraft for an address?”

“Where does the president see the line for having members of the military included?” the reporter asked.

In her response, Jean-Pierre defended the use of the Marines and said the Biden’s speech “was not a political speech.”

“And, so, for him this was not a political speech,” said Jean-Pierre.

“This was an opportunity in prime time to talk directly to the American people,” she said. “To be very clear with a clear voice to talk about what is happening in our country today.

“And it was about our values as a country, about our democracy as a country. And, so, that is what the president wanted to convey,” she said. “And he believes the men and women, who wear the uniform and protect us every day, protect this country every day, that’s what they fight for as well. And, so, this was an opportunity as he is having this conversation, levelling, right, a level conversation with the Americans people, to do that.” 

A”nd, again, he took this opportunity to directly speak to the American people understanding, understanding, that the Marines who were standing behind him are, you know, men and women, who believe in our democracy as well, who fight for it every day,” said Jean-Pierre.

“So, that’s the thinking that I can give you behind that,” she said.

Here is a transcript of the full exchange between the reporter and Jean-Pierre about the Marines who Biden had stand behind him as he gave his speech:

Reporter: “Where does the president think the line should be drawn for having members of the military, who could be perceived as being part of stagecraft for an address? The former president was criticized for using military many different times in many different settings, and you’re right, there have been other instances and other presidents, where members of the military—especially here at the White House. But to be at a location in Pennsylvania, where the Marines are not normally stationed—Where does the president see the line for having members of the military included?”

Spokeswoman: “So, I just want to be very clear. You know, as you know, the president was at Independence Hall, and you know the history, I’m going to repeat it, but I know you know the history, which is where some of our, some of our, documents of some of our most critical rights and freedoms were debated and drafted. So, being at Independence Hall for this president—and you follow this president, you know how he thinks, and you know how, you know, how he is as an elected official. He believes that it is important for him to speak very loudly, to have actually the loudest voice when it comes to our democracy.

“And, so, for him this was not a political speech. This was an opportunity in prime time to talk directly to the American people. To be very clear with a clear voice to talk about what is happening in our country today.

“And it was about our values as a country, about our democracy as a country. And, so, that is what the president wanted to convey. And he believes the men and women, who wear the uniform and protect us every day, protect this country every day, that’s what they fight for as well. And, so, this was an opportunity as he is having this conversation, levelling, right, a level conversation with the Americans people, to do that. 

“So, I just want to—that is really the best way that I can explain how the president was thinking about this last night. You know, when it comes to the soul of the nation, this is something that the president has talked about, as I mentioned for years. He has seen where we are headed as a country. He has been concerned where our democracy is going. And, again, he took this opportunity to directly speak to the American people understanding, understanding, that the Marines who were standing behind him are, you know, men and women, who believe in our democracy as well, who fight for it every day.

“So, that’s the thinking that I can give you behind that.”

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