February 26, 2024


The speech, the president’s first political occasion of the election 12 months, was supposed to make clear the anticipated selection for voters this fall.

President Joe Biden responds to a query as he walks again to the White Home in Washington, Jan. 2, 2024, after coming back from a trip together with his household within the U.S. Virgin Islands. Biden is holding his first political occasion of 2024 close to Valley Forge, Pa., on Friday, marking the third anniversary of the Capitol assault.(AP Picture/Susan Walsh, File) AP

BLUE BELL, Pa. (AP) — President Joe Biden warned Friday that Donald Trump’s efforts to retake the White Home in 2024 pose a grave risk to the nation, the day earlier than the third anniversary of the violent riot on the U.S. Capitol by then-President Trump’s supporters aiming to maintain him in energy.

Talking close to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, the place George Washington and the Continental Military spent a bleak winter practically 250 years in the past, Biden mentioned that Jan. 6 2021, marked a second the place “we practically misplaced America — misplaced all of it.” He mentioned the presidential race — a possible rematch with Trump, who’s the far and away GOP frontrunner — is “all about” whether or not American democracy will survive.

The speech, the president’s first political occasion of the election 12 months, was supposed to make clear the anticipated selection for voters this fall. Biden, who reentered political life as a result of he felt he was finest able to defeating Trump in 2020, believes specializing in defending democracy to be central for persuading voters to reject Trump as soon as once more.

“Everyone knows who Donald Trump is,” Biden mentioned. “The query we’ve to reply is who’re we?”

Biden, laid out Trump’s function within the Capitol assault, as a mob of the Republican’s supporters overran the constructing whereas lawmakers have been counting Electoral School votes that licensed Democrat Biden’s win. Greater than 100 law enforcement officials have been bloodied, crushed and attacked by the rioters who overwhelmed authorities to interrupt into the constructing.

“What’s Trump performed? He’s referred to as these insurrectionists ‘patriots,’” Biden mentioned, “and he promised to pardon them if he returns to workplace.” He excoriated Trump for “glorifying” moderately than condemning political violence.

A minimum of 9 individuals who have been on the Capitol that day died throughout or after the rioting, together with a number of officers who died of suicide, a lady who was shot and killed by police as she tried to interrupt into the Home chamber, and three different Trump supporters who authorities mentioned suffered medical emergencies.

Biden mentioned that by “attempting to rewrite the information of Jan. 6, Trump is attempting to steal historical past the identical means he tried to steal the election.”

Trump, who faces 91 prison prices stemming from his efforts to overturn his loss to Biden and three different felony circumstances, argues that Biden and high Democrats are themselves in search of to undermine democracy through the use of the authorized system to thwart the marketing campaign of his chief rival. The Supreme Court docket on Friday agreed to determine whether or not Trump could possibly be stored off the poll due to his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss.

Talking in Iowa Friday, Trump accused Biden of “abusing George Washington’s legacy” to assault him and his supporters, including his personal dire warning concerning the stakes within the marketing campaign, saying, “This election is your final probability to save lots of America.”

Vice President Kamala Harris was headed to South Carolina Saturday, the place she too was to handle the Jan. 6 riot.

“On that day, we noticed violence, chaos, and lawlessness, although some so-called leaders nonetheless say it was a peaceable protest led by, quote, ‘nice patriots,’” she’s going to say, in accordance with her ready remarks.

Biden, in his remarks, seized on Trump’s grievances and his pledges to get retribution on his political enemies.

“Donald Trump’s marketing campaign is about him,” Biden mentioned. “Not America. Not you. Donald Trump’s marketing campaign is obsessive about the previous, not the longer term.”

He added: “There’s no confusion about who Trump is or what he intends to do.”

Earlier than his remarks, Biden, joined by his spouse Jill, participated in a wreath laying ceremony at Valley Forge Nationwide Arch, which honors the troops who camped there from December 1777 to June 1778. He additionally toured the house that served as Washington’s headquarters.

Biden invoked Washington’s choice to resign his fee because the chief of the Continental Military after American independence was received — and the portray commemorating that second that resides within the Capitol Rotunda — to forged Trump as unworthy of Washington’s legacy.

“He may have held onto that energy so long as he wished,” Biden mentioned of Washington. “However that wasn’t the America he and the American troops of Valley Forge had fought for. In America, our leaders don’t maintain on to energy relentlessly. Our leaders return energy to the individuals – willingly.”

Though the chaos of Jan. 6 got here down on members of each political events, it’s being remembered in a largely polarized trend now, like different elements of political life in a divided nation.

Within the days after the assault, 52% of U.S. adults mentioned Trump bore plenty of duty for Jan. 6, in accordance with the Pew Analysis Heart. By early 2022, that had declined to 43%. The variety of Individuals who mentioned Trump bore no duty elevated from 24% in 2021 to 32% in 2022.

A Washington Submit-College of Maryland ballot launched this week discovered that about 7 in 10 Republicans say an excessive amount of is being made from the assault. Simply 18% of GOP supporters say that protesters who entered the Capitol have been “largely violent,” down from 26% in 2021, whereas 77% of Democrats and 54% of independents say the protesters have been largely violent, primarily unchanged from 2021.

Biden mentioned that “politics, concern, cash” have led many Republicans to desert their criticism of Trump after the Jan. 6 assault.

“These MAGA voices who know the reality about Trump and Jan. sixth have deserted the reality and deserted democracy,” Biden mentioned. “They’ve made their selection. Now the remainder of us – Democrats, Independents, mainstream Republicans – we’ve to make our selection. I do know mine. And I imagine I do know America’s.”

Biden has regularly invoked the hazards of Jan. 6 since his 2021 inauguration on the identical Capitol steps the place law enforcement officials have been struggling to battle again rioters simply two weeks earlier. On the primary anniversary of the Jan. 6 assault, Biden had stood within the Capitol’s Statuary Corridor, a historic spot the place the Home of Representatives used to satisfy earlier than the Civil Struggle. On Jan. 6, rioters crammed the realm, some in search of lawmakers who had run for canopy.

“They weren’t trying to uphold the need of the individuals,” Biden mentioned of the rioters. “They have been trying to deny the need of the individuals.”

On the second anniversary, Biden introduced the nation’s second highest civilian award to 12 individuals who have been concerned in defending the Capitol through the assault.

Friday’s look included supporters and younger individuals motivated by the assault to become involved in politics, marketing campaign advisers mentioned.

AP author Jill Colvin contributed.