Supporters of Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” (Maga) agenda are a threat to democracy, President Joe Biden has said.
“Maga forces are determined to take this country backwards,” he said in a primetime speech in Pennsylvania.
Top Republican Kevin McCarthy hit back that Mr Biden had “severely wounded America’s soul”.
The duelling speeches come two months before mid-term elections, which will decide the power balance in Washington.
The Democratic president delivered his speech on Thursday night from Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the US Declaration of Independence was signed. He picked up his 2020 campaign theme of restoring the “soul of America”.
He said he was not condemning all 74 million Americans who voted for Mr Trump two years ago. “Not every Republican, not even a majority of Republicans, are Maga Republicans,” he said.
“But there’s no question,” Mr Biden continued, “that the Republican party today is dominated, driven and intimidated by Donald Trump and…