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US President Joe Biden speaks with reporters on the South Lawn before departing from the White House on Marine One on Jan. 11, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

POLITICS: Biden links Republicans with segregationist George Wallace, whom the president himself has praised


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President Joe Biden attacked Republicans Tuesday by attempting to link them to segregationist George Wallace but received pushback online from many who pointed out that Biden has repeatedly praised Wallace in the past. 

“FLASHBACK: Joe Biden once bragged about being praised by George Wallace,” the House GOP Twitter account posted Tuesday following a speech In which Biden tried to tie modern-day Republican election integrity bills to the racist views of prominent Democrats like George Wallace, Bull Connor and Jefferson Davis. 

US President Joe Biden speaks with reporters on the South Lawn before departing from the White House on Marine One on Jan. 11, 2022 in Washington, D.C.
(Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden, in an unusually vitriolic speech by a president who casts himself as uniting the nation and healing its wounds, suggested Republicans who said Democrat-backed election changes stood in opposition to democracy itself.

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“So I ask every elected official in America, how do you want to be remembered?” Biden said during remarks from the Atlanta University Center Consortium, on the campus of Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College. “Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?”

In the news clipping from the House GOP, an article from the Detroit Free Press in May 1987 explains that Biden boasted to southern voters that the southern part of Delaware is “culturally part of Dixie” and reminded them “that former Gov. George Wallace praised him as one of the most outstanding young politicians of America.” 

President Joe Biden walks to the Oval Office of the White House after stepping off Marine One, Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, in Washington.

President Joe Biden walks to the Oval Office of the White House after stepping off Marine One, Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, in Washington.
((AP Photo/Patrick Semansky))

In addition to the article posted by the House GOP the president has made similar comments appearing to paint Alabama’s former segregationist governor in a positive light.

In 1975, then-Senator Biden complimented Wallace as someone who is not afraid to tell it like it is.

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“I think the Democratic Party could stand a liberal George Wallace — someone who’s not afraid to stand up and offend people, someone who wouldn’t pander but would say what the American people know in their gut is right,” Biden said.

The Delaware senator also reportedly told Alabama voters on the presidential campaign trail in 1987 that he had received an award from Wallace in 1973 and said in 1981 that sometimes even George Wallace is “right.”

Alabama governor George C. Wallace promises "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" during his 1963 inaugural address.

Alabama governor George C. Wallace promises “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” during his 1963 inaugural address.

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The White House pointed to instances in which Biden opposed Wallace. 

In 1975, Biden reportedly attacked then-Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo, grouping him with former President Richard Nixon and Wallace as “men who stand for everything that is wrong in the country.

In 1976, when Wallace was seeking the Democratic nomination for president, Biden was reportedly critical of Wallace’s record on policies like crime and education and said he would back the Republican nominee if then-President Gerald Ford got the GOP nomination.

Biden has also drawn scrutiny in the past for his praise of segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond and former Ku Klux Klan Exalted Cyclops Sen. Robert Byrd. Biden gave a eulogy at the funeral for both politicians.

Fox News’ Michael Lee contributed to this report



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