Spiritual adviser and bestselling self-help author Marianne Williamson is facing backlash from those within her own party after she announced over the weekend she would pose a political challenge to President Biden.
Biden has yet to declare whether he will seek the presidency for a second term in 2024.
“We know that this country is plagued by many challenges now, not the least of which is hated and divided, which is greater than any of us have experienced… It is our job to create a vision of justice and love that is so powerful that it will override the forces of hated and injustice and fear,” Williamson said Saturday.
Speaking from her campaign kickoff event at Washington, DC’s Union Station, Williamson drew the ire of some in the Democratic Party who are more than willing to dismiss her candidacy and throw support behind someone else like Biden, who will be nearly 82 at the next presidential choice.
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Democratic activist and American lawyer Aaron Parnas took issue with those attempting to legitimize Williamson’s candidacy, referring to Biden as one of the “most revolutionary” presidents in recent history.
“The media needs to stop legitimizing Marianne Williamson’s campaign for President,” Parnas wrote in a now-deleted tweet. “President Biden has been one of the most revolutionary Presidents in recent history and has the full support of Democrats across America. There is no legitimate primary. Biden is our nominee.”
Santiago Mayer, the founder and executive director of Voters of Tomorrow, also downplayed Williamson’s campaign announcement, referring to her as a “joke” with financial motive.
“Let’s be clear: Marianne Williamson is a joke,” Mayer wrote. “She’s a fundamentally unserious candidate running as a stunt to sell her books from her.”
“The best way to handle her is to not address her at all,” political commentator and former Biden delegate Lindy Li said on MSNBC after the announcement Saturday.
Some, however, voiced praise for Williamson’s speech—even if half-hearted.
“Marianne Williamson’s announcement is really quite compelling,” Steve Morris, senior producer at Recount Media, tweeted, along with a quote from the speech.
“I do get that this is how people fall into cults,” he joked in a later tweet.
Williamson did not mention Biden in her speech Saturday but said not electing former President Trump in 2020 meant America didn’t go “over the cliff.” She said “we’re still six inches away from it.”
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She painted a dark vision of America with “broken windows,” addiction, poverty and despair.
“Half the people in this city don’t even notice [despair],” she said, calling out leaders for lacking the “spine or moral courage” to fix the issues.
“Ladies and gentlemen, let me in there. I will,” she said.
Williamson, who called for reparations and a Department of Peace as part of her unsuccessful long shot campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, becomes the first Democrat with a national following to challenge the 80-year-old president.
During the 2020 cycle, Williamson was an unconventional candidate who preached the politics of love. She emphasized “six pillars for a season of moral repair,” including economic justice. She proposed creating a Department of Children and Youths and a Department of Peace, and she pushed for reparations for the descendants of African-American slaves. Among her unorthodox acts de ella was holding a meditation session while campaigning in New Hampshire.
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Most leaders in the Democratic Party from both the establishment and progressive wings say they will support Biden, who is expected in the coming weeks or months to announce his re-election campaign.
On the other side of the aisle, the 2024 GOP presidential candidates who have declared a run for the White House include former President Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy, a health care and tech sector entrepreneur.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser and Thomas Phippen contributed to this article.