Biden targets Trump’s ‘extremist’ allies as a Democratic threat in a difficult political moment

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PHILADELPHIA, Sept 1 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden has accused Donald Trump’s Republican allies of undermining the country’s democracy and on Thursday urged voters to reject extremism ahead of November’s midterm elections.

Biden accused lawmakers and others dedicated to the Make America Great Again (MAGA) program led by former US President Trump of being willing to nullify a democratic election, ignore the Constitution and “committed to rolling this country backwards.” “in an era without the right to abortion, privacy, contraception or same-sex marriage.

“Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,” Biden said. “As I stand here tonight, equality and democracy are under attack. We do ourselves no favors to pretend otherwise.”

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The primetime speech in Philadelphia, the birthplace of American democracy, marked a watershed moment for Biden ahead of the midterm congressional elections.

Aides say the president is increasingly concerned about anti-democratic tendencies within the Republican Party and sees the need to jump into this year’s election fight and redefine the stakes in his own re-election bid. 2024.

After spending much of 2022 trying to combat high inflation at home and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and enduring two bouts of COVID-19 over the summer, Biden has these last days repeatedly lambasted Trump-aligned Republicans. Read more

His Thursday remarks denouncing political violence and calling for a bipartisan compromise came after speeches in recent days where he condemned the MAGA philosophy as “semi-fascism” and assailed Republican threats to the FBI after a search of the home of Trump in Florida as “sickening”.

Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday accused Biden of ignoring crime and inflation to criticize his fellow citizens.

“Instead of trying to bring our country together to solve these challenges, President Biden has chosen to divide, belittle and denigrate his fellow Americans,” McCarthy said in Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania. ” Why ? Simply because they don’t agree with his policy.

A Democratic fundraiser said donors are watching Biden’s performance closely over the next few months to determine whether to back him in a 2024 presidential race.

Some have already decided that Biden, 79, should step down to make way for a new leadership, while others want to see if he can lead the party effectively.

“If we can pull him out and keep the Senate, then there will be enough votes to say he deserved it and pave the way for his re-election,” a senior Democratic official said. “If we don’t, the prevailing sentiment will be ‘Pass the Torch’.”

FREE ELECTIONS IN DANGER?

Biden spoke in Philadelphia behind bulletproof glass and within earshot of chanting protesters supporting Trump. He made his remarks at a location intended to signal the historical significance of his call, near Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were adopted.

Some historians and legal scholars have cast the stakes in harsher terms than Biden’s political future, saying free elections and a commitment to the rule of law are at stake.

They say losing Congress would not only make Biden a lame president, but would also give control over certification of the results of the upcoming presidential election to Trump sympathizers, some of whom never accepted Biden’s 2020 victory and who committed to reviewing voting systems.

Biden alluded to the concerns saying, “I will not sit back and watch elections in this country be robbed by people who just refuse to accept that they have lost.”

The speech echoed Biden’s pledge for the 2020 campaign to restore “the soul of the nation” and, by implication, purge the values ​​associated with Trump. In the nearly two years since Biden’s election, Republican voters have mostly backed candidates aligned with the former president; more than half say they believe Trump legitimately won the election.

Facing threats after Trump’s defeat, one in five election workers surveyed this year said they could quit before the next presidential election. Read more

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Reporting by Steve Holland in Philadelphia, and Trevor Hunnicutt and Jarrett Renshaw in Washington Additional reporting by Jeff Mason and Tyler Clifford in Washington Editing by Heather Timmons, Jonathan Oatis and Matthew Lewis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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