President Joe Biden delivered his closing message ahead of the midterm elections: voting for “extreme MAGA Republicans” is a threat to democracy.
President Joe Biden delivered his closing message ahead of the midterm elections in a primetime address Wednesday night: voting for “extreme MAGA Republicans” is a threat to democracy.
- “Make no mistake, democracy is on the ballot for all of us,” Biden said. The president delivered his speech from Union Station in Capitol Hill. The Capitol Hill venue is an intentional callback to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
- The president continued, “As I stand here today, there are candidates running for every level of office in America — for governor, for Congress, for attorney general, for secretary of state — who won’t commit to accepting the results of the elections they’re in.”
- The 79-year-old Democrat urged voters to reject the “lies” of “ultra MAGA Republicans” at the ballot box on Tuesday.
- The president explicitly linked the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to the attack on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband less than one week ago at the beginning of his speech. Biden noted the assailant called “where’s Nancy” after breaking into Pelosi’s home, calling it an echo of a mob chant on Jan. 6.
- Biden blamed former President Donald Trump’s false claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election for having “fueled the dangerous rise of political violence and voter intimidation over the past two years.”
- While Biden explicitly condemned some recent instances of political violence in his speech, he did not address the assassination attempt on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh or the violent attacks on pro-life organizations.
- POLITICO reported the speech was “quickly planned” although White House officials insisted it had been in the works for some time. The president himself wanted to directly connect the attack on Paul Pelosi to Republican candidates who promote conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.
- Josh Barro wrote Joe Biden’s “democracy” argument “makes no sense on its face” for his Substack Very Serious. Barro blasts Biden and Democrats for being insincere and fundamentally unserious, writing, “Democrats have not governed like…they really believed our democracy is at grave risk if the other side wins.”
- CNN called Biden’s address a “stark warning to Americans that the future of the nation’s democracy could rest on next week’s midterm elections.” Biden aides told CNN the attack on Paul Pelosi motivated the president to make his closing argument about the “defense of democracy.”
- Fox News highlighted Biden’s new term for Republicans: “dark forces that thirst for power.” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel responded, “”Joe Biden promised unity but has instead demonized and smeared Americans, while making life more expensive for all.”
- Biden “elided the fact that [Pelosi’s] attacker is seriously mentally ill. Instead, with no basis whatsoever, he connected the attack to January 6 and then launched into the typical argument that “democracy is on the ballot,” argued Rich Lowry in National Review. Lowry continued, “All around a poor performance, but what did you expect?”
- The Washington Examiner emphasized Biden’s admonishment for voters to “think long and hard” about voting for “extreme MAGA Republicans” the president insisted were a genuine threat to democracy. The Examiner noted just 9% of voters said threats to democracy was their top voting issue in a recent CNN poll.
© Dominic Moore, 2022