United States

Trump seeks ‘revenge and retribution’ Biden says in January 6 anniversary speech

Reuters

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Trump seeks ‘revenge and retribution’ Biden says in January 6 anniversary speech

MATCH. US President Joe Biden and former US president Donald Trump. File photos from Reuters

Reuters

Biden reminds Americans that Trump has called his opponents 'vermin,' the 'same exact language used in Nazi Germany'

PENNSYLVANIA, USA – Joe Biden on Friday, January 5, accused Republican Donald Trump, his likely 2024 election opponent, of instigating the January 6 attacks and plotting revenge on those seeking to punish him, as the president put the future of US democracy at the center of his bid for re-election.

“He told the crowd to fight like hell. And all hell was unleashed,” Biden said of the 2021 attack. “Then as usual he left the dirty work to others. He retreated to the White House.”

Biden marked three years since the January 6, 2021 attacks with his first major campaign speech of the year, applying the heat on Trump as he pushes against questions about his handling of the US economy and his age, 81. Trump is 77.

Whether Biden’s Friday speech will make an impact 10 months before Election Day – in a politically polarized country where voters get news and information from wildly different sources – remains to be seen.

But it set the tone and laid out the stakes of what is likely to be a bitter battle. Biden characterized Trump and his followers as dangerous outliers and asked Democrats, independents and “mainstream Republicans” who cherish US democracy to back him.

“Democracy is on the ballot. Your freedom is on the ballot,” he said.

Biden said Trump’s re-election bid is based on trying to seek “revenge and retribution” against his political enemies. He reminded Americans that Trump has called his opponents “vermin,” the “same exact language used in Nazi Germany.”

“How dare he? Who in God’s name does he think he is?” said Biden, lowering his voice to a whisper.

Trump, president from 2017 to 2021, who is leading the field for the Republican nomination for president, contested his defeat in the 2020 election, prompting thousands of his supporters to attack the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. The failed bid to stop formal certification of the result resulted in the deaths of five people and injured dozens of police officers.

Biden also criticized Republicans for changing their tone on Trump, saying that when the attacks of January 6 on the US Capitol took place, “there was no doubt about the truth” and that some Republican members of Congress and Fox News commentators had publicly and privately condemned the uprising.

“But now as time has gone on – politics, fear, money – have all intervened. And those MAGA voices who know the truth about Trump and January 6th have abandoned the truth and abandoned our democracy,” Biden said.

Republicans challenging Trump in the 2024 nominating contest have mostly steered clear of criticizing Trump’s actions on that day, as opinion polls show Republican voters are less likely to blame Trump for his actions on January 6 than they were three years ago.

Before his speech at a community college in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, Biden took a tour of the Valley Forge site of George Washington’s Revolutionary War-era winter headquarters in the bitterly cold months of late 1777 and early 1778.

In his speech, Biden contrasted Trump’s bid to hang on to power to the example set by Washington, who stepped down willingly after two terms as the first US president.

Biden returned again and again to January 6, including a vivid description of what transpired that day, including protestors calling for the hanging of then-Vice President Mike Pence. People died because Trump’s lies “brought a mob to Washington,” he said.

In excerpts of a speech expected in Sioux Center, Iowa, later Friday, Trump called Biden’s record “an unbroken streak of weakness, incompetence, corruption, and failure. That’s why Crooked Joe is staging his pathetic fear-mongering campaign event in Pennsylvania today.”

Ahead of Biden’s speech, the Trump campaign released an ad accusing Biden of being “the true destroyer of democracy” citing special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Trump’s actions on January 6.

Smith, a veteran prosecutor known for pursuing mob bosses, has charged Trump with conspiring to illegally subvert the results of the 2020 election. Trump has been charged in four separate criminal cases, with his first trial likely as soon as March.

Biden’s attorney general Merrick Garland said Friday his department was “upholding the rule of law and we are protecting the American people.” Biden has declined to comment on Trump’s legal troubles but has said he has no doubt that the Republican supported insurrection.

As president, Biden has warned about the future of US democracy before, including on the first anniversary of January 6, and in a fiery September 2022 speech where he called Trump and his Republican followers extremists who threatened to take the country backward.

The 2024 race is expected to be closely contested, and Biden aides see Pennsylvania, home to Biden’s Scranton birthplace, as a must-win state. He won in 2020 with 50.01% of the vote. In 2016, Trump won Pennsylvania with 48.58% of the vote.

Biden’s arguments have done little to soothe his own supporters’ concerns about the state of the economy or his age, 81. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI
Download the Rappler App!