Immediately after taking the Oath of Office this Wednesday, President Joe Biden delivered an inaugural address to the American people in an attempt to begin healing the unprecedented division.
That division has often been laid at the feet of former President Donald Trump and his allies, whose frequently violent, nationalist rhetoric stoked tensions among Americans which culminated in a deadly assault on the United States Capitol earlier this month.
Biden said in his address:
"Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we are all created equal and the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, and demonization have long torn us apart."
The speech was hailed by many—like Fox News' Chris Wallace—as a speech that met the solemn moment facing the United States in the wake of a months-long smear campaign against the integrity of America's very democracy.
Longtime GOP strategist Karl Rove, in an interview with Fox News, did not share that opinion.
Karl Rove: "The racism thing to me is -- I was offended" If you are offended by someone saying we need to battle… https://t.co/WQdqbFtC0n— Lis Power (@Lis Power)1611243173.0
"The racism thing to me is—I was offended in the speech ... There are people in this country who are racists and nativists but the vast majority of Americans stand together on those issues. [Democrats] say if you are not for me, you are part of the group that's racist and nativist."
Not only does white supremacist terror present a growing threat to the United States, but support for former President Donald Trump showed a strong correlation with white supremacist ideals, and Trump himself appointed at least two known white nationalists—former advisors Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon—to White House positions.
Though Rove dismissed racism and nativism as a minimal threat, these ideals demonstrably became more mainstream under former President Trump, whom Rove supported.
Many of Trump's Twitter critics thought Rove was telling on himself by taking offense to condemnations of racism in the inaugural address.
only racists are offended when people call out racism. https://t.co/XwOzl0xSTG— Kurt Bardella (@Kurt Bardella)1611254802.0
If you heard President Biden say "we must defeat...political extremism, white supremacy and domestic terrorism" and… https://t.co/paymVXedcx— Ashton Pittman (@Ashton Pittman)1611255613.0
It is very telling when people take general comments about racism personally. I don’t remember anyone specifically… https://t.co/PlQpLRgk3E— Lisa Guerrero 💃🏽t (@Lisa Guerrero 💃🏽t)1611249260.0
When you can't help but tell on yourself. https://t.co/v82xf6ufYc— Justin Baragona (@Justin Baragona)1611246041.0
If you are offended by the fight against racism - and if you think we don't have a serious racism problem in Americ… https://t.co/umUsrWhnC6— James Aycock, data nerd 📈 (@James Aycock, data nerd 📈)1611265053.0
If it offends you when Joe Biden says racism is a divisive issue in America, then you’re probably racist. https://t.co/uBxyApihdP— I Am Groot (@I Am Groot)1611266082.0
People didn't hesitate to remind Rove of the role his party played in mobilizing white supremacist terrorism and ideals, even as recently as this month.
no surprise, but Karl Rove and Fox News simply fail to admit the ugly ground truth: not just Trump—but from Ted Cru… https://t.co/QVcAs9HwvH— Mark Follman (@Mark Follman)1611253210.0
Karl Rove helped produce a whisper campaign ahead of the 2000 South Carolina primary that John McCain had fathered… https://t.co/xIbhVcPp2h— Joe Better Have My Dough (@Joe Better Have My Dough)1611265450.0
These people are (almost) unreal. A murderous pro-Trump mob including Nazis, white supremacists, and Confederate fl… https://t.co/TeoThU30vr— David Corn (@David Corn)1611243510.0
Biden has vowed to make strides toward racial equity a key objective of his time in office.