Biden to Highlight Trump as a Continuing Threat to Democracy in Upcoming Campaign Speech

 Biden to Highlight Trump as a Continuing Threat to Democracy in Upcoming Campaign Speech

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Joe Biden is gearing up to emphasize the threat Donald Trump poses to democracy in his first campaign speech of the year, focusing on a theme that his advisers believe resonates strongly with voters. Set to be delivered near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, the speech marks a return to Biden’s core campaign message and underlines the urgency he and his team feel in addressing the challenges posed by his likely general election opponent.

Biden, who announced his re-election bid last April, has chosen the historic site of Valley Forge, where George Washington’s army faced a harsh winter, to draw parallels between the past and present fights for democracy. On the third anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Biden is expected to call for a rejection of political violence and an upholding of fundamental freedoms, positioning this struggle as a “sacred cause.”

Reflecting on the upcoming election, a senior Biden adviser said, “When there are major events in this country’s history, the next national election becomes a moment when the people of that country render a judgment about it. We believe that in 2024, [Jan. 6] will be that moment.”

Biden’s speech is seen as an “opening salvo” for the 2024 campaign, focusing on Trump as a central issue, a strategy his advisers describe as “a sharpening, not a shift,” after recent emphasis on economic messaging. The campaign believes that swing voters might be put off by aggressive anti-Trump rhetoric too early in the race, but sees the anniversary of Jan. 6 as an apt moment to highlight the risks Trump poses.

Deputy campaign manager Quentin Fulks emphasized the moral obligation to depict the threat Trump and the Republican Party pose to America. The timing of Biden’s speech also coincides with the Republican primary campaign, where Trump currently holds a significant lead.

Biden’s team believes that focusing on democracy can motivate voters, including Republicans who might consider voting for Biden if Trump becomes the nominee. The speech, meticulously prepared by Biden’s chief strategist Mike Donilon, is part of a strategic effort to set the tone for Biden’s campaign throughout the year.

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