Former President Trump on Friday accused President Biden of “fearmongering” with a speech earlier in the day in which Biden described Trump as a clear threat to democracy who could not be trusted with a second term.
Trump, in remarks to supporters in Sioux Center, Iowa, called Biden’s speech in Valley Forge, Pa., a “pathetic fearmongering campaign event” and suggested Biden was only attacking him on the issue of democracy because he could not run on other issues.
“Joe Biden’s record is an unbroken streak of weakness, incompetence, corruption and failure. Other than that he’s doing quite well,” Trump said, mocking Biden’s delivery of his speech. Biden has spoken publicly about how he overcame a stutter as a child.
“Biden, if you take a look at what he’s doing on the border or inflation, or our military, that horrible day in Afghanistan, you look at what he’s done with energy,” Trump added. “All throughout the world, we’re an embarrassment as a country. We’ve become an embarrassment as a country.”
Trump at one point cast doubt on the election results in 2020, suggesting the roughly 75 million votes cast for him was inaccurate and the total was actually higher. Numerous court challenges brought by Trump allies in 2020 seeking to challenge the results were rejected or dismissed by various judges across the country.
Trump, who is the front-runner to win the GOP presidential nomination, was speaking at the first of several scheduled events in Iowa this weekend. The former president is blitzing the Hawkeye State ahead of the Jan. 15 caucuses, where he is hoping his supporters lift him to a dominant victory and squash any potential momentum for former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
For his first campaign event of 2024, Biden on Friday traveled to Valley Forge, a historically significant location in the American Revolution. The president laid out the stakes of November’s election, arguing “democracy is on the ballot.”
Biden spoke at length about the riots at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when throngs of Trump supporters violently clashed with law enforcement and stormed the building to try and stop the certification of the 2020 election results.
Biden connected Trump’s rhetoric directly to the violence of that day, and he warned the former president threatened the foundations of American democracy.
“Today we are here to answer the most important of questions: Is democracy still America’s sacred cause” Biden said. “This isn’t rhetorical, academic, or hypothetical. Whether democracy is still America’s sacred cause is the most urgent question of our time. It is what the 2024 election is all about.”
Polling in recent weeks has found more voters say they trust Trump over Biden on the economy, immigration and the Israel-Hamas war. Biden’s approval rating has sagged to record lows in recent weeks, even as his aides point to jobs numbers and GDP to argue the economy is in strong shape.
Polling averages from Decision Desk HQ show a close matchup between Trump and Biden as the two appear on track to face each other in November’s general election, with Trump at 44 percent to Biden’s 43 percent.
Biden’s Friday speech reflected how his campaign is hoping to make Trump’s threat to democracy a rallying cry heading into November’s election.
Biden’s campaign has in recent weeks highlighted Trump’s pledge to be a dictator only on his first day in office, his rhetoric that echoes Adolf Hitler, his calls to investigate his political opponents and Trump’s vow to his supporters that he will be their “retribution.”
Earlier this week, Biden’s reelection campaign dropped a 60-second ad, which is set to run over the next week in key swing states, arguing Trump has made efforts to “erode American democracy and excuse — and even promote — political violence.”
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