The Washington Post reported that last Wednesday, President Joe Biden “coined a new phrase — ‘ultra MAGA.'”
The Post reported that Biden and his team spent six months on a research project to rebrand former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” as a Republican-directed insult by sticking “ultra” in front of the acronym. However, the ridicule, as it was supposed to be taken, was, in a matter of moments after its utterance by the president, reappropriated by some on the right as a term of endearment.
The Post report added: “Biden’s attempt to appropriate the ‘MAGA’ brand as a political attack was hardly accidental. It arose from a six-month research project to find the best way to target Republicans, helmed by Biden adviser Anita Dunn and by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a liberal group.”
After conducting polling from the Hart Research and the Global Strategy Group, strategists said they found “MAGA” as a term that held negative connotations among voters — more so than “Trump Republicans.”
When White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked how a President who ran on a campaign as a unifier of both parties could insult members of the very party he was trying to unify into a bipartisan coalition, she responded, “The president’s view is you can do both.” She qualified her response by saying that Biden would still seek to work with Republicans who share his priorities, but what spotlight those he saw as promoting destructive policies or behavior.
“He’s also not going to stand by and not call out what he sees as ultra MAGA behavior, ultra MAGA policies that are out of the mainstream of the country and are not in the interest of the American people,” Psaki said.
But not all are in agreement with the press secretary. For Cliff Sims, a former senior administration official under Trump, trying to reappropriate a phrase as an insult that already holds massive appeal among a grassroots base reveals just how tone-deaf the Biden administration is when it comes to political tact.
“It’s stunning,” Sim said, “how out-of-touch Biden and his folks are about how to brand this stuff when they’re taking the most iconic, successful political slogan of all time and trying to turn it into something derogatory. I mean, who doesn’t want to make America great again?”
“You can’t fake grassroots support, and there is a real ecosystem of Trump supporters,” he added. “Part of the power of the online movement for Trump is they’re just having a great time, they’re making fun of people, they’re trolling, they’re creating funny memes to get a laugh or get retweets.”
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