WASHINGTON — Days before the midterm elections, President Joe Biden will amplify his argument that democracy itself is on the line, delivering an evening speech amid growing fears of political violence.
Biden will note that next Tuesday’s election is the first since an angry mob stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
“I wish I could say the assault on our democracy ended that day. But I can’t,” he is expected to say, according to pre-released excerpts of his speech.
Biden will point out that there are candidates at every level of office — for Congress, for attorney general, for secretary of state — who will not commit to accepting election results.
“It’s the path of chaos in America,” he will say. “It’s unprecedented. It’s illegal. And it’s not American. Like I said before, you can’t just love your country when you win.”
Biden chose a location near the United States Capitol for his remarks because “that’s where there was an attempt to overthrow our democracy,” White House senior adviser Anita Dunn said in announcing the event during a live Axios interview on Wednesday. .
“The president, again, is making this speech because we are seeing an alarming number of Republican officials saying, they are very clear, they will not accept the results of this election,” White House press said. secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “It is a problem.”
“The idea that you would use violence to advance your political means is something that unites almost all Americans and against which we can all be united,” she said of the attack on the January 6 against the Capitol.
In October, Biden said the evidence gathered by the congressional committee investigating the attack had been “devastating.”
“I mean, the case has been made, that seems pretty overwhelming to me,” Biden said when asked about the committee’s last meeting.
Concerns about political violence grew ahead of the Nov. 8 election and after the hammer attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband at their San Francisco home.
“He speaks because he wants to make sure he speaks loud and clear…those are not normal times,” Jean-Pierre said.
Related:Paul Pelosi’s alleged attacker pleads not guilty in court appearance; will stay in jail
Capitol Police Chief:‘More resources’ needed after Paul Pelosi attack
Focus on Holocaust deniers
In the 7 p.m. speech at Union Station, Biden “will address the threat from election deniers and those who seek to undermine faith in voting and democracy,” according to an announcement from the Democratic National Committee.
He will also point out that the votes will take a few days to be counted “because that’s how democracy works,” said Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s deputy chief of staff.
More than 340 candidates who will be on the ballot Nov. 8 have made false claims that the 2020 election was flawed, according to the Brookings Institution. All are Republicans.
The greatest danger for democracy researchers uncovered was the potential changes to who can certify elections, taking it out of the hands of election bureaucrats and giving it political bodies like state legislation.
“It’s extremely dangerous,” said Brookings senior colleague Elaine Kamarck.
On the ballot:Hundreds of election deniers running for office across the country in 2022 pose a ‘major threat’ to US democracy
An overwhelming 85% of Americans say they are very or somewhat worried about the future of democracy, according to a USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll conducted at the end of October.
Among those who say they are “very worried”, there are 67% Republicans, 55% Democrats and 51% independents.
The nature of these concerns differs and sometimes opposes each other.
In follow-up phone interviews with respondents, Republicans tended to express concern that Democrats could vote fraudulently. Democrats tended to worry about the results being twisted or overruled by Republican officials responsible for counting them.
‘Battle for the soul of the nation’
Biden has framed his 2020 presidential bid as a “battle for the soul of the nation.” He returned to that theme in a September speech outside Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, known as the birthplace of American democracy and where Biden launched his 2020 presidential campaign.
He accused former President Donald Trump and the “maga Republicans” of representing “an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic”.
Witness testimony:Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes typed a message to Trump after Jan. 6
Dunn said Biden would speak to “people on Wednesday who disagree with him on any issue, who disagree with his agenda” because “we can really unite behind this idea, this core value of democracy”.
Unlike Republicans, who have focused relentlessly on economic and public safety issues in their campaign messaging, Democrats have tackled a variety of issues. During a trip to Florida on Tuesday, Biden pointed out the differences between the parties on Social Security and Medicare. During his visit to New Mexico on Thursday, the president will tout his actions to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt. Republican-led states are among the critics suing to stop that effort.
California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, complained about his party’s messaging in a CBS interview that aired Tuesday.
“We are overwhelmed by the narrative,” Newsom said on the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell.” “We’re going to have to do better in terms of attack and stop being on the fucking defense.”
How to watch
Biden’s remarks will be streamed live on C-SPAN’s YouTube channel and USA TODAY.
Mid-term:Federal judge limits ballot box surveillance in Arizona ahead of midterm
Ohio Senate Race:Liz Cheney says she prefers Democrat Tim Ryan over Republican JD Vance