President Biden slams Trump for the January 6 Capitol riot, a day when ‘we almost lost America’

(Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

President Biden slams Trump for the January 6 Capitol riot, a day when ‘we almost lost America’

Election 2024


January 5, 2024

President Biden warned on Friday that Donald Trump’s efforts to retake the White House in 2024 pose a serious threat to the country, the day before the third anniversary of the violent riot at the US Capitol by then-President Trump’s supporters who targeted him wanted to keep power.

Speaking near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, where George Washington and the Continental Army spent a bleak winter nearly 250 years ago, Biden said January 6, 2021 marked a moment when we almost lost America, lost everything. A likely rematch with Trump, who leads by far in the polls for the Republican nomination, is all about whether American democracy will survive.

The speech, the president’s first political event of the election year, was intended to clarify the expected choice for voters in the matter. Biden, who reentered political life because he felt he was best placed to defeat Trump in 2020, believes putting the defense of democracy at the center is crucial to convincing voters to reject Trump again .

We all know who Donald Trump is, Biden said. The question we must answer is: who are we?

Biden explained Trump’s role in the deadly attack on the Capitol, when a mob of Republican supporters overran the building as lawmakers were counting the Electoral College votes that confirmed Democrat Biden’s victory. About 150 police officers were bloodied, beaten and attacked by the rioters who overwhelmed authorities to break into the building, one of whom died.

What has Trump done? He has called these insurrectionists patriots, Biden said, and he promised to pardon them when he returns to office. He criticized Trump for glorifying rather than condemning political violence.

At least nine people who were in the Capitol that day died during or after the riot, including the officer who died after being attacked, several other officers who died by suicide, a woman who was shot and killed by police as she tried to enter to break. the House of Representatives chamber, and three other Trump supporters who authorities said were suffering from medical emergencies.

Biden said that by trying to rewrite the facts of January 6, Trump is trying to steal history the same way he tried to steal the election.”

Trump, who faces 91 criminal charges stemming from his efforts to overturn his loss to Biden and three other felony charges, says Biden and top Democrats themselves are trying to undermine democracy by using the legal system to undermine his campaign. to thwart its main rival.

Donald Trump’s campaign is about him,” Biden said, pointing to Trump’s repeated statements that he is seeking “retribution” against his political enemies. “Not America. Not you. Donald Trump’s campaign is obsessed with the past, not the future.

He added: There is no confusion about who Trump is or what he is up to.

Before his remarks, Biden, along with his wife Jill, took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at Valley Forge National Memorial Arch, honoring the troops who camped there from December 1777 to June 1778. He also toured the house that served as Washington. headquarters.

Biden invoked Washington’s decision to resign from his commission as leader of the Continental Army after American independence was won, and the painting commemorating that moment in the Capitol Rotunda, to portray Trump as unworthy of Washington’s legacy.

He could have kept that power for as long as he wanted, Biden said of Washington. But that was not the America he and the American troops at Valley Forge had fought for. In America, our leaders are not ruthlessly clinging to power. Our leaders voluntarily return power to the people.

Although the chaos of January 6 fell on members of both political parties, its memory is now remembered in a largely polarized manner, like other aspects of political life in a divided country.

According to the Pew Research Center, in the days following the attack, 52% of American adults said Trump bore a great deal of responsibility for January 6. By early 2022, that had dropped to 43%. The number of Americans who say Trump is not responsible increased from 24% in 2021 to 32% in 2022.

A Washington Post and University of Maryland poll released this week found that about seven in 10 Republicans say the attack is being overplayed. Only 18% of Republican supporters say the protesters who entered the Capitol were mostly violent, down from 26% in 2021, while 77% of Democrats and 54% of independents say the protesters were mostly violent, essentially unchanged from of 2021.

Biden said politics, fear and money led many Republicans to drop their criticism of Trump after the Jan. 6 attack.

“These MAGA voices who know the truth about Trump and January 6 have abandoned the truth and democracy, Biden said. They have made their choice. Now the rest of us, Democrats, independents, mainstream Republicans, must make our choice. I know mine, and I think I know America.

Biden has regularly invoked the dangers of Jan. 6 since his inauguration in 2021, on the same Capitol steps where police officers struggled to fight back rioters just two weeks earlier. On the first anniversary of the insurrection, Biden had stood in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall, a historic site where the House of Representatives met before the Civil War. On January 6, rioters filled the area, some looking for lawmakers who had taken cover.

They were not out to uphold the will of the people, Biden said of the rioters. They tried to deny the will of the people.

On the second anniversary, Biden presented the nation’s second-highest civilian award to 12 people involved in defending the Capitol during the attack.

Showing up Friday included supporters and young people motivated by the attack to get involved in politics, campaign advisers said.


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