NEW YORK CITY – America is more divided than ever, despite President Biden’s calls for unity, many New Yorkers told Fox News ahead of the president's Thursday speech focusing on threats to American democracy.
"He's the most divisive president in the history of the United States, at least in my lifetime," a union worker and registered Democrat, Jimmy, told Fox News.
Another New Yorker, Karen, said: "I think it's more divided than ever, and I think it has nothing to do with Biden, who has done his very best to unite the country."
Biden called for unity in his inauguration speech, saying, "Let's start afresh. Let's begin to listen to one another again, hear one another, see one another. … We can join forces. Stop the shouting and lower the temperature. For without unity, there is no peace."
"The president has been clear that he thinks there’s an extremist threat to our democracy," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday, one day before Biden's "battle for the soul of the nation" speech in Philadelphia.
"I think we’re more divided than we ever were," one woman told Fox News.
Jamal said: "The country has never been unified. Whatever Biden said he was going to do hasn't been done."
But Bill said the U.S. is "fractured" but less "than it was when President Trump was president."
And a Vietnam War veteran, Mike, told Fox News that the current political divide makes the 1960s "look like a cocktail party."
Jimmy said "we'll be here for a while" if he listed all the reasons why he felt the divide was deepening.
"We can start with the economy. The porous border. The double standard for vaccinations here in our country. Crime at an all-time high in Democratic supermajority cities," Jimmy told Fox News.
But Karen said: "We have a Republican Party that won't negotiate, will not sit down at the table and is trying to repress the vote all over the country."
"This is not a fascist country," Mike told Fox News. "Too many people gave too much to make sure that it's not."
Bill called Biden's remark "a most unhelpful and ignorant statement. The Republicans that I know are far from being any fraction of fascism."
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul earlier this month said Donald Trump and two Empire State Republicans should "just jump on a bus and head down to Florida where you belong."
"Condemning people who think a certain way or see things a certain way is unacceptable and un-American," Jimmy said. "Whether it's the president or our recent governor's statement, Kathy Hochul, telling Republicans to leave New York, it’s unacceptable. You serve the people."