Biden blames extreme MAGA Republicans for intimidating voters, election officials
President Joe Biden has urged Americans to vote for democracy, reject candidates who refuse to vote and be patient with the results ahead of the first national election held since the attack on the US Capitol on January 6.
“It is estimated that there are more than 300 election deniers across America this year,” Biden said, speaking in Washington, DC’s Union Station. “We cannot ignore the impact this is having on our country. It is harmful, it is corrosive and it is destructive.”
Biden’s omen came less than a week before Election Day and five days after an attacker with a history of sharing right-wing conspiracy theories broke into the house Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and attacked her husband with a hammer, causing serious damage to his head.
In his speech on Wednesday night, Biden said Pelosi’s attacker David DePape used the same rhetoric the rioters did on January 6. Biden, without naming Donald Trump, said that the former president “drove the rioters crazy” with his big lie that the 2020 election was stolen. The lie, Biden said, led to further political violence and voter intimidation seen in the past two years.
“This intimidation, this violence against Democrats, Republicans and non-partisan officials who are just doing their jobs is the result of lies told for power and profit. Lies of conspiracy and malice. Lies repeated over and over again to create a cycle of rage, hatred, anger and even and violence,” Biden said. “At this point we have to face those lies with the truth.”
Biden cited recent polls showing Americans are worried about the state of democracy and reminded voters they can face it at the ballot box. Choices made now, Biden said, will determine whether democracy in the United States survives.
“We have to start looking out for each other again, to see ourselves as people, not as entrenched enemies,” Biden said. “This is a choice we can make. Disunity and chaos are not inevitable. There’s been anger in America before, there’s been division in America before, but we’ve never given up on the American experiment and we can’t do that now.”
Biden also reminded Americans that in many states, absentee ballots cannot be counted before polls close on Election Day, meaning it will take time to get final results. This has become a central point of contention for conspiracy theorists during the 2020 election, especially how many Democrats voted by mail amid the coronavirus pandemic. Far-right election deniers claimed the legally cast ballots were fake.
“It takes time to count all the legitimate ballots in a legal and orderly manner,” Biden said. “It has always been important for citizens in a democracy to be informed and engaged. Now it is also important for citizens to be patient.”
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