Image source: The New York Times
On Thursday, President Joe Biden traveled to Philadelphia and delivered his most vocal anti-Republican speech.
During the speech, Biden focused on how they “thrive in chaos” and warned people that their attempts to undermine democracy could lead to violence.
President Joe Biden delivered his speech at Independence Hall against a red-lit backdrop, calling for a reckoning with a movement led by Donald Trump.
His speech comes ahead of midterm elections, which help determine control of Congress.
Although billed as an official address, Biden’s comments contained the outline of his campaign message.
While trying to convey optimism about the country’s future, the president also painted his political opponents in a dark light.
Biden said Trump and his followers are threatening the American experiment.
Minutes after stepping onto the podium, he called out his predecessor and suggested that Americans should face an existential choice in the upcoming election.
“Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal,” said Biden over the speech.
“Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”
Despite his feelings, Biden tried to separate Trump’s loyal followers from the Republican Party as a whole.
President Joe Biden concluded on a more optimistic tone, saying it is up to voters to control the dark forces brewing in the country.
Biden felt the time was right to speak out against the growing anti-democratic forces in the country after recently calling Republicans “MAGA extremism” and “semi-fascism.”
Meanwhile, officials say the president’s message was nonpartisan and intended to target an extreme wing of the GOP.
Either way, Biden urged his audience to go to the polls in November.
Read also: The White House reveals some of what President Joe Biden will be discussing in a speech for Thursday
Building up to the speech
The past few weeks have focused on many campaign promises that initially seemed unrealistic before the law was signed.
The factors that grow together are creating a sense in the West Wing that the political wind is changing, especially as more Americans have signed up for midterm elections.
It has also hit the White House, where months of war within the party have emerged, a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic and crises that many have looked beyond their control to change course.
Biden himself was struck by the sense of darkness that hung over the west wing for months.
The changing winds also coincided with Trump’s re-emergence.
Republican politicians and candidates have started a campaign on the false basis of fraudulent elections.
As the campaign season kicked off a boost midway through the campaign, multiple factors emerged with enough ammo for Biden to publicly share his thoughts.
“The President felt that this was an appropriate time before the traditional campaign season begins next week to lay out what he sees at stake, not for any individual political party, but for our democracy itself,” said a senior government official.
Read also: George Conway Twitter Shows Support For Trump
Response to Biden’s speech
On Friday afternoon, popular forums among white supremacists and far-right extremists began pouring in with posts calling for Biden’s assassination.
The president was not alone, as Jewish government officials such as Attorney General Merrick Garland, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Alejandro Mayorkas were identified as potential targets.
According to documents covering some of the threats, there were also reports declaring civil war.
A threat alert from the Site Intelligence Group was issued Friday, alerting law enforcement and others.
The group tracks extremist activity online and has issued several threat alerts detailing calls for violence after Biden’s speech.
The potential threats were posted on online forums teeming with Proud Boys and neo-Nazis, among other extremist groups.
“Users on several far-right and ultranationalist venues made violent threats against President Joe Biden following his speech addressing political extremism on September 1, 2022,” an alert said.
“Users advocated for Biden to be murdered and predicted violence if he continues speaking about the topic.”
The White House defended Biden’s speech on the grounds that he should stand up for democracy and speak out against political violence.
Biden warns Trump and his closest followers are trying to undermine American democracy in combative speech
Biden speech denouncing Trump, ‘MAGA ideology’ sparks threats, calls for violence