Some members of Congress appear to be leaning into the president's new "ultra-MAGA" label.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) offered, in a passing comment at a Wednesday press conference, what appears to be a full embrace of the new label that President Joe Biden has created for pro-Trump Republicans in Congress.
"I am ultra-MAGA, and I'm proud of it," Stefanik told someone off-screen.
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Rep. Elise Stefanik: "I am ultra-MAGA, and I'm proud of it."pic.twitter.com/PE6dgvVg5x— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 11, 2022
Biden invented the "ultra-MAGA" title himself, referencing former President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan and what he describes as extreme policy positions from congressional and other down-ballot Republicans.
Biden appears to be trying to connect "ultra-MAGA" Republicans to a list of proposals Sen. Rick Scott has said should be priorities for Republicans. While few Republicans have lined up behind Scott's list, the president is attempting to use them to criticize Republicans, including claiming they want to raise taxes.
Stefanik is not the only one to embrace the label. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) also welcomed the moniker.
“I’m proud to be an Ultra-MAGA,” he said. "The president’s remarks signify a true shift. He’s moving away from an indictment of President Trump specifically to now trying to indict an entire political movement that they fear."
However, there is no clear definition among Republicans with regard to what being "ultra-MAGA" entails.
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Stefanik's embrace of the "ultra-MAGA" title resembles the response several Republicans had to Hillary Clinton's remarks about a "basket of deplorables" during a Sept. 9, 2016, speech in New York.
The remark caught fire among Trump voters, who soon embraced the title. It was eventually appropriated by Trump supporters and worn as a mark of pride. Trump would even invite his supporters on the stage during rallies and call them "deplorable" in an appreciative manner.
Clinton advisers said the remark played a significant part in shifting undecided voters toward Trump.