Biden condemns election deniers, calls on Americans to stand united against political violence
President Biden on Wednesday delivered a speech on democracy and the danger posed by election deniers, imploring Americans to come together "with one overwhelming unified voice" to declare "there's no place, no place for voter intimidation or political violence in America, whether it's directed at Democrats or Republicans. No place, period. No place ever."
Speaking in Washington, D.C., Biden tied the violent attack against Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The assailant asked, "Where's Nancy? Where's Nancy?" which was also a chant heard as the insurrectionists entered the Capitol building. That "enraged mob had been whipped up into a frenzy by a president repeating over and over again the big lie that the election of 2020 had been stolen," Biden said. "It's a lie that fueled the dangerous rise of political violence and voter intimidation over the past two years."
Recent polls show that Americans are concerned about threats to America's democracy, Biden said. "Freedom is not free, it requires constant vigilance," he continued. "From the very beginning, nothing has been guaranteed about democracy in America. Every generation has had to defend it, protect it, preserve it, choose it."
It's up to Americans to decide "if we'll have fair and free elections and every vote counts," Biden said. "We the people must decide whether we're going to sustain a republic, where reality is accepted, the law is obeyed, and your vote is truly sacred." Biden never referred to former President Donald Trump by name, but he said "the defeated former president of the United States" is culpable because "he refuses to accept the results of the 2020 election, he refuses to accept the will of the people, he refuses to accept the fact he lost, he has abused his power and put the loyalty to himself before loyalty to the Constitution."
The results of the 2020 election withstood a multitude of legal challenges and recounts, Biden noted, and that should give people faith in democracy and the system working as it should. He encouraged Americans to "start looking out for each other again. We need to see each other as we the people, not entrenched enemies." The calls for violence and intimidation are coming from "a distinct minority," Biden said, but they are "loud and determined. We have to be more determined. All of us who reject political violence and voter intimidation, and I believe that's the overwhelming majority of the American people, all of us must unite to make it absolutely clear that violence and intimidation have no place in America."