President Joe Biden slammed election deniers and ‘extremism’ during an impassioned speech about the “battle for democracy” on Thursday, September 1. Biden delivered a fiery call to action, reminding Americans to get to the polls and vote to preserve democracy, as he spoke outside of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. “As I stand here tonight, equality and democracy are under assault,” he said during the evening speech, referring to “election deniers” and Republicans, and warning that Donald Trump and his cronies threaten to continue to roll back progress.
“We do ourselves no favor to pretend otherwise,” he continued in his televised remarks, with around 300 live guests. “So tonight, I’ve come to this place where it all began. To speak as plainly as I can, to the nation, about the threats we face. About the power we have in our own hands to meet these threats.” Biden also slammed what he called “MAGA extremism” and “semi-fascism.” “We must be honest with each other and with ourselves: Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal,” he said. “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”
President Biden stated that MAGA “thrives on anger and chaos,” condemned the potential loss to the “right to contraception,” and said that extremists are “putting a dagger to the throat of democracy.” He notably asserted that MAGA does not “recognize the will of the people,” referring again to the phenomenon of “election denial.”
Biden’s speech comes about two months before Americans will vote in the midterm elections on November 8. Prior to the speech, the White House had announced that he would speak on the “continued battle for the Soul of the Nation,” in a press release. A spokesperson provided further details previewing the speech in a statement to ABC News. “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,” they explained to the outlet. “And he will make clear who is fighting for those rights, fighting for those freedoms, and fighting for our democracy.”
The Philadelphia speech is far from the first time that Biden has warned about the threats that Democracy faces and stressed why it’s so important to vote in the midterms. During a speech marking the first anniversary of the January 6 insurrection, the president called out his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, for threatening American democracy in provoking the attack on the Capitol following the 2020 election. “A former president who lies about this election and the mob who attacks this capitol could not be further away from the core American values. They want to rule or they will ruin,” he said at the time.
Not only has Biden denounced Trump, but he’s also put pressure on Congress to pass legislation that would ensure all Americans the right to vote. “I believe that the threat to our Democracy is so grave that we must find a way to pass these voting rights bills,” he said in a January address.