President Biden is slated to hold his first two campaign events of the year in the coming days as his operation places an emphasis on the threat former President Trump — Biden’s likely opponent in November — poses to American democracy.
Biden will travel to Valley Forge, Pa., outside of Philadelphia on Saturday to mark three years since the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, using the date as a symbol of what the Biden campaign says is an ongoing fight for democracy. The president will follow that up with a trip to South Carolina on Monday, where he is expected to focus again on the threat to American freedoms.
Campaign officials told reporters Biden plans to lay out the stakes of the 2024 election in Saturday’s speech, where he is likely to invoke the images of the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol, when Trump supporters violently clashed with law enforcement, stormed the building and tried to halt the certification of the 2020 election results.
“Our campaign is running an operation like our democracy depends on it because it does,” Quentin Fulks, principal deputy campaign manager, said. “The president will make the case directly that democracy and freedom…remains central to the fight we’re in today.”
The Biden campaign is expected to announce a fresh round of paid advertising on Saturday as well.
In a year-end memo and on Tuesday’s call with reporters, Biden campaign officials have increasingly sought to frame the 2024 race as a battle not just for the soul of the nation, as Biden said in 2020, but for U.S. democracy and basic freedoms.
Campaign officials noted that Trump, who is comfortably leading in GOP primary polls, has taken credit for the end of Roe v. Wade and abortion access, has said he would be a dictator for his first day in office and has called for getting rid of the Affordable Care Act, which covers health care for millions of Americans.
“The threat Donald Trump posed in 2020 to American democracy has only grown more dire in the years since,” Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Biden’s campaign manager, told reporters.
Biden will sharpen that message in South Carolina during a Monday visit to the state, which will hold the first Democratic primary on the 2024 calendar next month. Biden will speak at Mother Emanuel AME church in Charleston, where he will discuss the threats facing Americans’ freedoms.
It will mark Biden’s fourth visit to South Carolina as president, a nod to the state’s role in putting Biden on track to win the Democratic nomination in 2020.
Biden’s travel over the next week reflects how the president and Vice President Harris will be increasingly occupied on the campaign trail, with an eye toward November’s general election.
Harris is set to embark on a nationwide tour focused on the fight over abortion access, beginning Jan. 22 in Wisconsin on the 51st anniversary since the original Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing abortion access.
“As we continue to just really build out the campaign and really demonstrate the president, the vice president, other principals traveling, we’ll continue to build that out and continue to make sure they are getting to the key states that we know are going to be so crucial to ensuring that we win in November,” Chavez Rodriguez said.
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