President Joe Biden warned Wednesday that America’s democracy is under attack at all levels, as he tries to make protecting democracy a top priority in next week’s midterm elections.
“This intimidation, this attack on Democrats, Republicans, and non-partisan officials is a lie, a conspiracy, and a vicious cycle of anger, hate, and lies told for power and gain.” , vitriol and even violence,” the ruling said. “Now we have to face those lies with the truth, the future of our country depends on it.”
The speech — a political event hosted by the DNC, not the White House — highlighted the points Biden has been making for weeks since a keynote speech in Philadelphia. That address, which covered many of the topics the president touched on Wednesday night, was criticized by Republicans and others as too political for a White House official event.
The speech on Capitol Hill is to mark the planned attack on the Capitol building on January 6, 2021 to end Biden’s confirmation of victory.
The president’s advisers told CNN that Biden and his team had been considering a speech on the subject — but that their decision-making and thinking in recent days had been shaped by what they saw as counterinsurgency. – Democratic rhetoric and threats of violence.
One recent topic has particularly alarmed Biden and his top advisers: last week’s violent attack on Paul Pelosi, which officials say was politically motivated.
The shocking domestic assault and assault on Pelosi landed the 82-year-old in the hospital for surgery, where he has since been recovering from a fractured skull and other injuries.
Advisers said Biden felt it was important to directly condemn these types of threats and acts of violence before the speech. He also said he wants to speak directly with those who reject the vote, in an effort to partially challenge Republican voters and candidates who refuse to accept the results of next week’s election.
The theme of protecting the nation’s soul — and the pillars of the nation’s democracy — has been central to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. The president has talked about these topics throughout his presidency, but Wednesday’s speech will try to highlight the issue heading into the midterms.
The preservation of democracy has been an animating feature of Biden’s thinking this political season, and has come up frequently in his off-camera conversations with Democrats. A day before speaking in Washington, Biden warned a group of Democratic donors in Florida that “democracy is at stake” this year — and a day later he previewed his message.
“How can you claim to care about democracy when you deny the existence of victory?” The only way you can win is either you win or the other guy cheats,” he said at the event, which was held at an oceanfront mansion in Golden Beach, Florida.
“This has not happened since the Civil War. It sounds like hyperbole, but it hasn’t been since then, as bad as it is now,” he said.
Biden’s reference to the Civil War was hardly accidental; This week he was spotted holding a copy of historian John Meacham’s new book, “And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and America’s Struggle,” which explores how America’s 16th president faced secession and the threats to democracy.
Meacham is an informal adviser to Biden and has helped write some of his most famous speeches.
Citing an attack on Paul Pelosi during a speech at a Florida fundraiser, he said the Republicans’ rhetoric was less surprising. The attack on the House speaker’s husband was one of the reasons Biden decided to deliver Wednesday’s speech, officials said, although plans had been in the works for some time.
“Look at the response — the so-called response — from the Republicans, laughing at it and/or saying, ‘Well, you know, it’s not because of what was said and said,'” Biden said of the attack.
“The reason why people do what they do – there are a lot of unstable people in a society like ours. Every day you hear these outrageous lies — these outrageous lies across the board about everything,” Biden said.
“How can you be surprised?” he asked. “The man bought a hammer to knock No. 3 to his knees – No. 2, I mean, to be President of the United States of America. And no one in this party condemns it for what it really is.
Biden already spread the damage by traveling to Philadelphia two months ago, where he delivered an urgent rebuke of former President Donald Trump and his attempts to undermine democracy.
“As I stand here tonight, equality and democracy are under attack,” Biden said at the time. “We don’t do ourselves any favors to pretend otherwise.”
Biden warned at the time about what he called “extremism that threatens the foundations of our republic.”