MSNBC host Jonathan Capehart told President Joe Biden that he and millions of Americans are “scared” about the future of American democracy in an interview broadcast Friday.
“Mr. President, I’ll be honest: I’m scared,” Capehart said to Biden. “Millions of Americans are scared and they’re concerned about the concerted attacks on democracy, on voting, and how that’s going to impact the midterm elections.”
The news host then slammed conservatives ranging from the governor of Florida to candidates on the ballot in November.
“We’re seeing everything, from Governor DeSantis’ election police force, arresting people for alleged violations of voter fraud. We’re seeing election workers quitting because of threats,” he claimed. “And then on top of it, you’ve got election deniers up and down the ballot running for election, a good chunk of them could win.”
BIDEN REJECTS POLLS SHOWING VOTERS TRUST GOP TO HANDLE THE ECONOMY
He then asked Biden directly, “So, why shouldn’t we be scared?”
Biden suggested that political friction is part of the process of being in a democracy, but condemned “Mega MAGA Republicans” for their role in it.
“Well, I think we should be concerned. Look, there’s nothing automatic about democracy. Remember, when you’re in undergraduate school, they talk about every generation has to protect democracy,” he said. He then appeared to suggest that this political moment is one of those cases where democracy itself weighs in the balance.
“Well, it really does, and I think we’re at one of those inflection points in history where we’ve reached a point where there has been such a division that you have what I call the ‘Mega MAGA Republicans’ who are – think that it’s alright to threaten violence, think it’s – that’s not inappropriate – talk about how they are concerned about security. But yet you saw what happened on January 6, the whole world saw it. But I think there’s reason for concern,” he said.
MSNBC ANCHORS, OTHER MEDIA PUNDITS FUEL CIVIL WAR FEARS OVER MIDTERMS: ‘DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE IT’S OVER’
Biden said he is “optimistic” about two things, however.
“Number one, we’ve been here before. And I believe that the essence of who we are as a nation, the soul of our country, is really about our commitment to the basic fundamental elements that make us Americans, which is the idea of fairness, decency, honesty, and I think is baked in to the majority of the American people,” Biden said. “And I think as long as we take seriously the threat, I don’t think the threat can come to fruition.”
Capehart also asked, “Can our democracy survive when the Republican Party is — it only cares about power?”
Biden responded by appearing to warn of dire consequences if Americans allow the Republican Party to “continue to metastasize into what a minority of the party as a whole is.” He later assessed that the modern GOP does not have a platform “other than tear down what I have been able to do.”
At another point in the interview, Biden was asked what would happen if Republicans managed to “take control of Congress” in the upcoming election.
Biden responded that he would “veto anything they do.”
He added, “They have to — for them to make Dobbs — for them to outlaw Roe, outlaw the right of a woman to make a choice with their doctor, to not make exceptions for rape and incest and et cetera, and pass it out of the Congress to make it the law of the land, the president has to sign it, I’ll veto it.”