Joe Biden is set to redouble his efforts to portray the Republican Party as extremist, hypocritical and captive to Donald Trump’s influence ahead of November’s midterm elections, placing the rule of law and the integrity of American democracy at the heart of his speech to voters. .
In a primetime speech Thursday night from Philadelphia, the president is expected to highlight a series of threats to the country’s democracy being pushed by Republicans sympathetic to Trump.
These include the denial of the 2020 election results, the downplaying of the January 6 assault on the US Capitol, and recent attacks on law enforcement entities such as the FBI, at the following his search of the former president’s estate in Florida as part of an investigation into his handling of classified documents.
“[Biden] will talk about how the core values of this nation — our standing in the world, our democracy — are at stake,” a White House official said. “He will talk about the progress we have made as a nation to protect our democracy, but how our rights and freedoms are still under attack. And it will make it clear who is fighting for those rights, fighting for those freedoms, and fighting for our democracy.
The theme of the speech underscores how Democrats are pinning their hopes of retaining control of the House and Senate in the midterm elections on drawing stark and increasingly stark contrasts with Trump and his Republican allies — a formula that has worked for Biden in the 2020 presidential race.
In May, Biden called the Republican Party “the most extreme political organization” in recent US history.
Democrats trailed Republicans politically for most of the year due to voter dissatisfaction with high inflation, soaring gas prices and Biden’s low approval rating.
But they have recently regained a foothold due to the Supreme Court’s rollback of abortion rights, which has energized the Democratic base. Meanwhile, a series of legislative achievements, including the passage of Biden’s landmark climate, tax and health care bill and the fallout from the Trump investigation, also added to the momentum of the democrats.
“Vote for me and prosperity, or Trump and fascism, is the sharpest way to put it – that’s the angle Biden is working on,” said Mark Rom, professor of political science at the University of Georgetown. “It’s not just Trump’s maintenance of top secret documents, but it’s one thing after another with Trump, it’s this whole litany of things.”
Biden offered a preview of his message Tuesday during another appearance in Pennsylvania, which is a vital swing state with key races for Senate and governors in November. He argued that Republicans could no longer portray themselves as the party of law and order if they remained in Trump’s grip and tolerated political violence.
“You are either on the side of a mob or on the side of the police. You can’t be pro-law enforcement and pro-insurgency,” Biden said. He also delivered a thinly veiled jab at Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina, for predicting there would be “riots in the streets” if Trump was prosecuted.
“A safer America demands that we all respect the rule of law, not the rule of any particular party or individual. Let’s be clear: you hear some of my friends on the other team talking about political violence and of its necessity,” Biden said, adding, “It’s never appropriate. Never. Period.”
A Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday showed 67% of Americans think national democracy is at ‘risk of collapse’ – a 9% jump from the start of the year – suggesting it’s a issue that resonates with many voters.
“It’s sort of a rare bipartisan issue that Biden is going to try to exploit to see if he can use it against Republicans,” said Miles Coleman of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. “Really emphasizing democracy may be one way Democrats are trying to convince voters to stick with the devil they know.”
One of the risks for Biden in focusing on threats to democracy as the midterms approach is that it might seem to distract from the bread and butter issues like high prices, which Republicans are focused on. relentlessly in their campaign advertisements.
But Democrats believe drawing sharper contrasts with Republicans has already had a positive impact on their medium-term outlook. According to the Realclearpolitics.com average, the Republican lead in the generic Congressional ballot, which was 2.5 percentage points six weeks ago, has been all but wiped out to a very slim advantage of 0.2 percentage points.
Joe Biden to Step Up Attacks on ‘Extreme’ Republicans Ahead of Midterm Elections