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Biden targets ‘extremist’ Trump allies as democratic menace in fraught political second


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

Biden accused lawmakers and others dedicated to the Make America Nice Once more (MAGA) agenda led by former U.S. President Trump as keen to overturn democratic elections, ignore the Structure and “decided to take this nation backwards” to a time with out rights to abortion, privateness, contraception or same-sex marriage.

“Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans characterize an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,” Biden stated. “As I stand right here tonight, equality and democracy are below assault. We do ourselves no favor to faux in any other case.”

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The prime-time speech in Philadelphia, the birthplace of American democracy, marked a pointy flip for Biden as midterm congressional elections method.

Aides say the president is more and more involved about anti-democratic developments within the Republican Occasion, and sees a necessity to leap into this 12 months’s election struggle and recast the stakes of his personal 2024 re-election bid.

After spending a lot of 2022 making an attempt to fight excessive inflation at house and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and enduring two bouts of COVID-19 over the summer time, Biden has in current days repeatedly lashed out at Trump-aligned Republicans. learn extra

His remarks on Thursday denouncing political violence and urging bipartisan compromise got here after speeches in current days the place he condemned MAGA philosophy as “semi-fascism” and assailed Republican threats in opposition to the FBI after a search of Trump’s Florida house as “sickening.”

Home of Representatives Republican chief Kevin McCarthy on Thursday accused Biden of ignoring crime and inflation to criticize his fellow residents.

“As an alternative of making an attempt to convey our nation collectively to unravel these challenges, President Biden has chosen to divide, demean and disparage his fellow Individuals,” McCarthy stated in Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania. “Why? Just because they disagree along with his insurance policies.”

A Democratic fundraiser stated donors are carefully watching Biden’s efficiency over the following few months to gauge whether or not to again him in a 2024 presidential run.

Some have already determined that Biden, 79, ought to step apart to make method for contemporary management, whereas others need to see if he can lead the social gathering successfully.

“If we are able to pull it off and retain the Senate, then there will probably be sufficient voices saying he has earned it and pave the way in which for re-election,” stated a senior Democratic official. “If we do not, the overwhelming sentiment will probably be ‘Go the torch.'”

FREE ELECTIONS IN DANGER?

Biden spoke in Philadelphia from behind bullet-proof glass and inside earshot of chanting Trump-supporting protesters. He made his remarks at a venue meant to sign the historic significance of his attraction, close to Independence Corridor, the place the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Structure have been adopted.

Some historians and authorized students have solid the stakes in starker phrases than Biden’s political future, saying free elections and dedication to the rule of legislation grasp within the steadiness.

They are saying dropping Congress wouldn’t solely make Biden a lame-duck president, but additionally flip over management of certifying the outcomes of the following presidential election to Trump sympathizers, a few of whom by no means accepted Biden’s 2020 victory and who’ve pledged to overtake voting techniques.

Biden alluded to the considerations, saying “I cannot stand by and watch elections on this nation be stolen by individuals who merely refuse to simply accept that they misplaced.”

The speech echoed Biden’s signature 2020 marketing campaign pledge to revive the “soul of the nation” and, by implication, purge the values related to Trump. Within the almost two years since Biden was elected, Republican voters have principally backed candidates aligned with the previous president; greater than half say they imagine Trump rightfully received the election.

Confronted by threats after Trump’s loss, one in 5 election staff polled this 12 months stated they could stop earlier than the following presidential election. learn extra

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

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.



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