Joe Biden attacks ‘extremist’ Republicans as ‘threat to America’

Joe Biden attacks ‘extremist’ Republicans as ‘threat to America’

Joe Biden has launched a frontal attack on the Republican Party as a threat to American democracy because of its subservience to Donald Trump, as he portrayed the opposition as extremist ahead of the November midterm elections.

In a keynote address Thursday night outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia, the US president put defense of the rule of law and American institutions at the center of his speech to voters, saying they were threatened by the former president and his political allies.

Biden directly addressed Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement and its supporters as a threatening force in the country’s politics.

“There is no doubt that the Republican Party today is dominated, led and intimidated Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans – and that’s a threat to this country,” Biden said against an ominous backdrop of dark red lighting with two US Marines standing guard.

“MAGA Republicans do not respect the constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law, they do not recognize the will of the people. They refuse to accept the results of free elections”, he said and added that “too much of what is happening in our country today is not normal”.

Biden’s combative criticism of Trump and the Republicans in charge of the former president comes after the 79-year-old president promised to unite the country after the 2020 election and managed to strike a series of bipartisan agreements with conservative lawmakers on infrastructure, gun control and chip subsidies during his first two years in office.

But it reflects growing concern among Democrats that Trump’s grip on the Republican Party has continued to grow. Many Republican lawmakers embraced denial of the 2020 election results, played down the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol and attacked law enforcement such as the FBI for raiding the former president’s Florida estate as part of an investigation into his handling of classified documents.

“For a long time, we convinced ourselves that American democracy was guaranteed. But it didn’t. We have to defend it. Protect him. Stand up for it. Every one of us,” said Biden.

The theme of the speech highlighted the extent to which the White House and many Democrats hope to retain control of the House and Senate in mid-term elections drawing sharp and increasingly clear contrasts with Trump and his Republican allies — a formula that worked for Biden in 2020. Many Trump-backed candidates won Republican primary races and are now challenging Democrats for congressional seats.

In May, Biden called the Republican Party “the most extreme political organization” in recent American history, and last week he said that Trump’s allies and supporters have embraced “semi-fascism”.

Democrats have trailed Republicans politically for most of the year, and Biden’s approval ratings have been low due to voter dissatisfaction with high inflation and skyrocketing gas prices.

But the party has recently regained some of its footing after the Supreme Court annulled abortion rights, which energized the Democratic base. Legislative achievements, including the passage of Biden’s flagship climate, tax and health care bills and the fallout from the many legal challenges facing Trump, particularly the investigation into his handling of classified documents, have added to Democrats’ momentum.

Biden said: “The forces of MAGA are determined to take this country back. Back to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love.”

Republicans reacted strongly to the speech. “Instead of trying to bring our country together to solve the many problems he has created, President Biden has chosen to divide, humiliate and belittle his fellow Americans — simply because they disagree with his policies,” said Kevin McCarthy, House Republican leader. , he wrote on Twitter.

But Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday showed 67 percent of Americans think the nation’s democracy is in “danger of collapse” — a 9 percent jump from earlier this year — suggesting the issue is resonating with many voters.

“Vote for me and prosperity, or Trump and fascism, is the harshest way to put it — that’s the angle that Biden is working,” said Mark Rom, a political science professor at Georgetown University. “It’s not just Trump’s handling of top secret documents, it’s one thing after another with Trump, it’s a whole series of things.”

“It’s a rare, bipartisan issue that Biden will try to use to see if he can use it against Republicans,” said Miles Coleman of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “Really putting the focus on democracy is perhaps one way Democrats are trying to convince voters to stick with the devil they know.”

One risk for Biden in focusing on threats to democracy heading into the midterms is that it could appear to distract from bread-and-butter issues like high prices, which Republicans focus relentlessly on in their campaign ads.

But Democrats believe that drawing sharper contrasts with Republicans has already had a positive effect on their electoral prospects. According to the average, the Republican lead in the generic congressional vote, which was 2.5 percentage points six weeks ago, has been erased, and Democrats now hold a slim lead of 0.1 percentage point.

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