Standing in front of Independence Hall, the cradle of American democracy, Biden will tell the crowd, “MAGA troops are determined to make this country go backwards. Back to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to birth control, no right to marry those you love.”
“We have long reassured ourselves that American democracy is guaranteed. But it isn’t. We have to defend it. Protect it. Stand up for it. Each of us,” Biden will say.
Aid workers stressed that the speech, given just days before the unofficial kick-off of Labor Day until the end of the campaign halfway through the campaign, would not be overtly political. But it was hard to read as anything other than Biden’s attempt to frame the stakes of an election again dominated by Trump after an FBI search of his home in Mar-a-Lago yielded classified information and the rumors of possible criminal charges against the former president
And it will come as split screen: Just hours before Biden’s speech, the final legal hearing over the boxes of classified documents found in Trump’s Palm Beach estate was played out in a Florida courtroom, where a federal judge ruled that she would consider temporarily blocking the Justice Department. detectives assessing seized material.
And as Biden prepared to deal vigorously with the rise in political violence, his predecessor spent the morning defending the Jan. 6 rioters. He vowed, if he were to run for office and be re-elected, to offer “full pardons” and a formal apology to the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to undo the results of the election.
“I will be very, very positive about full pardon. If I decide to run and if I win, I’m going to look very, very strongly for grace,” Trump said on the Wendy Bell show. “I mean full pardon with an apology to many.”
Trump said he met some of the Jan. 6 defendants in his office earlier this week and said he will support them financially.
On Thursday, Thomas Webster, a former New York police officer, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his violent attack on a Capitol police officer on Jan. 6. It was the heaviest sentence ever handed down for any involvement in the uprising.
In Philadelphia, Biden’s speech will focus on the “ongoing battle for the soul of the nation,” the principle he cited as the driving force behind launching his third — and ultimately successful — bid for the White House.
“This is a time for him to talk to the people of this country about what’s at stake,” the senior White House official said, “what the threats are and what the opportunities are for the country to work together.” operate as a democratic nation.”
Aides said Biden will make it clear that he believes some mainstream Republicans reject Trump’s ideology, such as Rep. Wyoming’s Liz Cheney, who lost a GOP first after serving on the House select committee on Jan. 6. And the president will urge others in the GOP to finally turn their backs on Trump.
Republicans are also turning to Pennsylvania to make their midterm elections arguments. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy prefaces Biden’s Scranton speech and tried to turn the script around by claiming Democratic policy is an “attack on democracy.” On Saturday, Trump will hold a “Save America” rally in support of the Republicans he supported, including governor candidate Doug Mastriano and Senate candidate Mehmet Oz. Notably, Mastriano, a Trump loyalist, has helped lead efforts in the state to topple the 2020 race — a win by him would put an election denier in control of certifying the list of presidential voters of a major battlefield.
Biden, who is currently basking in the glow of a string of key legislative victories, has… has recently stepped up its attacks on Republicans. He occasionally calls Trump by name, calls for Republican support for the Jan. 6 rioters, and considers some in the GOP to be “semi-fascists.” He would argue Thursday night, aides said, that democracy is not “an issue that should divide the two political parties,” the senior White House aide said.
For Biden, the material and setting will be known.
He returned to Philadelphia time and again for historic moments and used it as the backdrop for the kick-off of the 2019 campaign that led him to the White House. He returned there last summer for a fiery speech in defense of voting rights.
Biden originally had no plans to run in 2020, but stated he felt the country’s identity and core values were being jeopardized by Trump’s conduct during his tenure, including his ambiguous response to the outbreak of racial violence in Charlottesville. , Virginia.
The phrase “battle for the soul of the nation” has dominated his rhetoric ever since, and Biden has stated that the foundation of his presidency was to prove that democracies could still deliver for their people and stand up to emerging autocracies around the world. He vowed to run to heal the wounds left by Trump’s tenure and is deeply dismayed, aides said, at the political polarization and anger that has only increased during his own time in the White House.
In recent days, Biden and his top officials have been calling out the Republican response to the FBI’s search for Trump’s Palm Beach home. They note how some GOP lawmakers have called for federal law enforcement to be downgraded, while others have warned that violence could follow a possible Trump arrest. For Biden, that was just the latest transgression by a Republican party he has told aides he barely recognizes — one that has remained captivated by Trump and in support of the insurgency.
The speech, expected to last about 25 minutes, comes at a moment of surprising political promise for Biden.
In recent weeks, gas prices have fallen, the Covid crisis has become less urgent and his domestic agenda has gradually been adopted. And his winning streak culminated in the resurrection of a $740 billion atonement bill that met old Democratic priorities like climate change, drug pricing, and corporate taxes.
His polls have risen to their highest point in months and Democrats have become increasingly optimistic about their chances of holding the Senate and possibly even the House. And as 79-year-old Biden begins to ramp up his midterm campaign travel, the Philadelphia speech will be the second of three stops Biden will make this week in Pennsylvania alone.
The Keystone State blitz will culminate in what has become a totem for the president: the Labor Day parade in Pittsburgh. Biden has marched there twice before as presidential speculation swirled around him, in 2015 and 2018. His appearance Monday, his aides admit, will be watched closely for possible hints about a final campaign.