Feb 8, 2023
Biden Highlights Threats to Democracy in State of the Union
(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden highlighted ongoing threats to free and fair elections in his State of the Union address to Congress, linking the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol to the assault last fall on then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband.
“For the last few years, our democracy has been threatened, attacked and put at risk; put to the test, in this very room, on Jan. 6,” Biden said in his speech Tuesday.
Biden highlighted Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, who was a guest in the first lady’s box. He was attacked in October by an intruder with a hammer inside the family’s San Francisco home. Biden pointed out that Pelosi’s attacker repeated conspiracy theories and was “using the very same language that insurrectionists used as they stalked these halls.”
“There is no place for political violence in America,” Biden said.
Biden gave two high-profile speeches last year which put the spotlight on Republican candidates who had made baseless claims of widespread voter fraud and denied the results of the 2020 election, even as many Democrats wanted him to focus more on kitchen-table issues like inflation in the runup to the midterm elections.
In the end, all of the election-denying candidates for key offices like governor and secretary of state in crucial swing states lost.
“Two years ago, our democracy faced its greatest threat since the Civil War,” Biden said. “Today, though bruised, our democracy remains unbowed and unbroken.”
Former President Donald Trump, though, still routinely makes baseless election claims as he makes a third run for the White House and many state legislatures are considering bills this year that would restrict voting ahead of the 2024 presidential election.
Biden signed a bipartisan law to reform the electoral count that Trump supporters sought to disrupt in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, but other Democratic efforts to make changes to voting rights have faltered.
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