Biden Labels Trump Threat to Democracy During Speech on Jan. 6 Anniversary

Biden Labels Trump Threat to Democracy During Speech on Jan. 6 Anniversary


The president draws George Washington comparison in Valley Forge speech.

President Joe Biden traveled to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, on Friday to deliver a speech to mark the third anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol breach. During his address, President Biden frequently drew a parallel between what he called his fight for “preservation of American democracy” and George Washington’s “sacred cause” during the struggle for American independence nearly 250 years ago.

He asserted that the return of former president Donald Trump to the White House poses a significant threat to democracy and the Constitution.

The president chose to deliver his speech near Valley Forge, a location of great historical significance as it served as George Washington’s headquarters for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. In the winter of 1777–1778, Gen. Washington and his troops camped at Valley Forge, which is about 18 miles west of Philadelphia.

“Today we gathered in a new year, just one day before January 6, a day forever seared in our memory because it was on that day when we nearly lost America—lost it all,” President Biden said during his speech.

“Today, we’re here to answer the most important questions. Is democracy still America’s sacred cause?”

Then President Biden went on to compare himself to his predecessor, President Trump, who is the leading candidate for the 2024 Republican nomination. He strongly criticized the former president and gritted his teeth several times to express his fury during his address.

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“The choice is clear,” President Biden said. “Donald Trump’s campaign is about him, not America, not you. Donald Trump’s campaign is obsessed with the past, not the future. He’s willing to sacrifice our democracy to put himself in power. Our campaign is different. For me and Kamala, our campaign is about America. It’s about you.”

“The rule of one is not the rule of ‘We the People.’ That’s what the soldiers of Valley Forge understood,” he said.

The chosen venue for the speech, Montgomery County Community College, is situated about 15 miles from the historic site. The speech was moved up by a day due to a predicted winter storm in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic this weekend.

Biden campaign officials briefed reporters on Jan. 2 on some of the campaign’s strategies, one of which is depicting President Trump as a “threat” to democracy.+

“The choice for voters next year will not simply be between competing philosophies of governing. The choice for the American people in November 2024 will be about protecting our democracy and every American’s fundamental freedoms,” Biden campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez told reporters.

Trump Campaign Responds

In a memo released on Tuesday, Trump campaign advisers Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles argued that the current president is the greater threat to American democracy.

“Please make no mistake: Joe Biden and his allies are a real and compelling threat to our Democracy,” they said. “In fact, in a way never seen before in our history, they are waging a war against it.”

They accused Democrats of resorting to “unconstitutional methods” to prevent President Trump from running for reelection. “Never in American history have these types of tactics been deployed by an opposition party.”

President Biden has struggled to persuade Americans to support his economic strategy, which he refers to as “Bidenomics.” The recent speech is viewed as an attempt to shift the narrative and focus on the “threat to democracy.”

However, most Americans are concerned about his age and disapprove of his handling of inflation, according to numerous polls.

During this speech in Valley Forge, President Biden accused the former president of inciting an “insurrection” to overthrow a free and fair election “by force and violence.”

“I won the election, and he was a loser,” he said.

“Trump is not concerned about your future, I promise you. Trump is now promising a full-scale campaign of revenge and retribution,” President Biden said. “Your freedom is on the ballot.”

President Biden will travel to Charleston, South Carolina, for a campaign event on Jan. 8 at Mother Emanuel AME Church, a historic black church where nine black parishioners were shot and killed by a white man in 2015. The president will underscore what is at stake in the 2024 election during his visits to Charleston.

The president also held a lunch meeting with a group of scholars and historians on Jan. 3 to discuss ongoing threats to democracy in the United States and abroad.

“What happened on Jan. 6 was unprecedented—an attack on our core principles, an attack on democracy. What we saw was an attack on our rule of law, an attack on our Constitution,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Jan. 3.

Ms. Jean-Pierre, however, didn’t reveal any information regarding the meeting’s specifics, including its participants.

The Biden campaign released its first advertisement for 2024 on Jan. 4, similarly centering on the same idea—the need to protect U.S. democracy.

The ad, named “Cause,” was narrated by President Biden and will air for the first time on television on Saturday.

“I’ve made the preservation of American democracy a central issue of my presidency,” the president says in the ad. “Now, something dangerous is happening in America. There’s an extremist movement that does not share the basic beliefs of our democracy.”

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