EXCLUSIVE: House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, reacting earlier in the day to news of President Biden’s political speech Wednesday night, told Fox News Digital that Biden is 'dividing the nation instead of uniting it,' and warned that the commander-in-chief could 'get a very big wake-up call' on Election Day.
Biden was set to deliver an attack on Republicans at a Democratic National Committee event inside Union Station in Washington D.C. — just blocks from the Capitol — less than a week before voters cast their ballots and determine the balance of power in Congress.
Biden was set to slam Republicans and 'election deniers.'
But in an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital on Wednesday afternoon, McCarthy, R-Calif., said the American people 'aren’t buying' what he described as Biden’s deflection.
'He is dividing the nation instead of uniting it at a time that we need to unite,' McCarthy told Fox News Digital. 'And he is doing that because he can’t talk about the policies where people are hurting — the pain of the cost of living and inflation and what they have caused.'
McCarthy added: 'He is trying to deflect, and the American people aren’t buying it, because every single day, they go to the store, and they can’t afford to buy things, they worry about the future of their children.'
Biden previewed his remarks on Wednesday, saying there is a 'whole lot at stake' on Election Day, and that there are '350 [election] deniers…on the Republican ballot, everything from state house races to secretaries of state, to governors, to senators.'
Biden’s DNC speech Wednesday night is expected to expand on those attacks and frame the midterms as critical for democracy, as Democrats try to hang on to power in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The president, in a controversial primetime address from Philadelphia's Independence Hall in September, slammed 'MAGA Republicans,' saying they 'do not respect the Constitution.'
'MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love,' Biden said in September.
McCarthy — who, if Republicans take the majority in the House, could serve as speaker — said Biden is focusing on the 'wrong issues.'
'This country needs solutions, it needs healing, and it needs a uniter — and none of this sounds like what he is doing,' McCarthy said. 'He is just focusing on the wrong issues instead of focusing on what the American people are asking.'
McCarthy said the American people are 'looking for a check and balance because they have watched what one-party rule has done,' pointing to Democrats’ 'lack of listening and their lack of focus on the needs of the American people.'
He added: 'I think the president is missing, so, maybe in six days, he’ll get a very big wake-up call to focus on the issues that the American public needs and deserves.'
Recent polls show voters are not buying the rhetoric amid 40-year high inflation. While Biden's approval rating has rebounded in recent weeks, a Fox News poll last month found that Republicans lead Democrats among likely voters on the congressional preference ballot.
The same poll found that 89% of voters said they were extremely concerned about inflation and higher prices, while only 74% said the same about the nation's lingering political divisions.
Fox News' Haris Alic contributed to this report.