Biden to Mark Jan. 6 Anniversary in Valley Forge Speech, Highlighting Threats to Democracy

Biden to Mark Jan. 6 Anniversary in Valley Forge Speech, Highlighting Threats to Democracy

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As the election year begins, President Joe Biden will travel on Friday to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, where he will deliver a speech on the third anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, with a message centered on the threats to U.S. democracy.

During his speech, President Biden is expected to intensify his criticism of his predecessor, President Donald Trump, who is the leading candidate for the GOP’s 2024 ticket.

President Biden’s campaign announced that the president will speak at a college near Valley Forge, a location of great historical significance as it served as George Washington’s headquarters during the Revolutionary War. In the winter of 1777–1778, General Washington and his troops encamped at Valley Forge.

The chosen venue for the speech, Montgomery County Community College, is situated approximately 15 miles from this historic site.

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 American 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,” said Biden campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez.

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After his visit to Valley Forge, President Biden will travel to Charleston, South Carolina, for another 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.

President Biden will underscore what is at stake in the 2024 election during his visits to both Valley Forge and Charleston.

Campaign Message

The president 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.

President Biden had scheduled to speak in Pennsylvania on Saturday—the anniversary of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach—but he moved the event to Friday to avoid a potential snowstorm.

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 said 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.”

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

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

Reuters contributed to this report.

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