In his first campaign event of 2024, Biden criticizes Trump on January 6: NPR

In his first marketing campaign occasion of 2024, Biden criticizes Trump on January 6: NPR

In his first campaign event of 2024, Biden criticizes Trump on January 6: NPR

Earlier than his speech, President Biden and First Woman Jill Biden attend a small wreath-laying ceremony on the Nationwide Memorial Arch in Valley Forge Nationwide Historic Park on January 5, 2024.

Mandel Ngan/AFP by way of Getty Photos


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Earlier than his speech, President Biden and First Woman Jill Biden attend a small wreath-laying ceremony on the Nationwide Memorial Arch in Valley Forge Nationwide Historic Park on January 5, 2024.

Mandel Ngan/AFP by way of Getty Photos

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. — President Biden used his first marketing campaign occasion of 2024 to criticize his potential opponent, former President Donald Trump, for the menace he poses to American democracy, calling the problem a “sacred situation” for the upcoming race.

“Right this moment we’re right here to reply a very powerful questions: Is democracy nonetheless America’s sacred trigger?” Biden stated. “That is what the 2024 election is all about.”

Biden targeted on occasions that occurred simply earlier than his inauguration, three years in the past, when Trump rallied supporters close to the Nationwide Mall, refusing to acknowledge his election loss to Biden.

A whole lot of Trump supporters then violently stormed the US Capitol as lawmakers have been formalizing the election ends in what the FBI referred to as an act of home terrorism.

Biden described how Trump watched the riot unfold on tv. He added: “This was among the many worst dereliction of responsibility by a president in American historical past.”

“On that day, we virtually misplaced America,” Biden stated. “We misplaced all the things.”

President Biden speaks at a neighborhood faculty close to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, on January 5, 2024, at his first marketing campaign occasion of the yr.

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President Biden speaks at a neighborhood faculty close to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, on January 5, 2024, at his first marketing campaign occasion of the yr.

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Trump was not ready to sentence the assault, and stated that if elected he would pardon rioters who have been convicted for his or her actions that day.

“Donald Trump’s marketing campaign is about him, not America, not you,” Biden stated. “Donald Trump’s marketing campaign is obsessive about the previous, not the longer term. He’s prepared to sacrifice our democracy.”

Biden selected Valley Forge because the backdrop for his speech

Biden made his remarks at a neighborhood faculty close to Valley Forge, the positioning the place Basic George Washington and his troops spent the winter of 1777 when the British occupied Philadelphia, then the capital of america.

Biden stated Washington was a shining instance of how American presidents return energy to the folks as soon as their time period in workplace ends.

Valley Forge can also be situated in Pennsylvania, one of many key swing states anticipated to determine the end result of the 2024 presidential race.

Polls present that voters are involved about Biden’s age, and his approval scores have declined. However polls additionally present that voters are involved about threats to democracy, considerations that Biden has exploited in a collection of speeches forward of the 2022 midterm elections, the place Democrats carried out higher than anticipated.

Biden met with historians earlier than the occasion

As he prepares to begin the yr, Biden met privately this week with a bunch of historians on the White Home this week, asking for his or her opinions on threats to democracy forward of his speech.

Biden can also be getting ready for a second occasion on Monday, in Charleston, South Carolina. There, Biden will communicate at Mom Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, the place a white supremacist killed 9 folks in 2015.

Princeton College Historical past Sean Wilentz was a part of the assembly with Biden. Wilentz stated considerations about political violence and threats to democracy are taking the place of different financial and social points.

“None of which means something if we lose, if we lose the republic,” Wilentz instructed NPR. “Actually, that is what the American Revolution was about.”

Wilentz stated there’s a hazard in dismissing Trump’s authoritarian rhetoric as showmanship.

“Biden is like me: he is an previous man. We have each been round a very long time,” he stated, recalling the backlash to the civil rights motion within the Sixties.

“We have been all a part of that,” he stated. “So perhaps we now have a sensitivity to this, which is a particular factor that comes from expertise.”

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