President Biden made the stakes of the 2024 election clear for his supporters at a campaign fundraiser in Washington on Friday, taking a shot at his likely opponent, former President Trump.
“I don’t think anyone today doubts democracy is at stake in 2024,” Biden said. “And listen to what they’ve been saying. Listen to what the MAGA Republicans are talking about. Listen to what language they use. Listen to who they say they are.”
“That’s why Kamala and I are running again, because we made progress, but our democracy is still at stake,” he continued. “Because folks, the same man who thought there were ‘very fine people on both sides’ in Charlottesville, who called Hezbollah ‘very smart’… who recently on more than one occasion has made jokes about the assault on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband.”
He added, “Now, there are a lot of reasons Donald Trump shouldn’t be president.”
Biden has turned up the attacks on Trump amid what is projected to be a very close 2024 presidential election — and a likely rematch between the two. Polls have the pair neck-and-neck in the general election, while Trump expands his primary lead over GOP opponents.
The president also again denounced political violence, making reference to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Biden said he and Harris are sending the “strongest, clearest, most powerful message possible that political violence is never, never, never, never acceptable in America.”
He denounced the 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Va., led by self-proclaimed white supremacists, saying the incident inspired him to run for the White House after Trump, the president, praised “very fine people on both sides.”
He also leaned on his family while mulling a 2020 campaign, he said.
During the Friday speech, Biden also doubled down on a push for gun control legislation after a mass shooting in Maine killed 18 people and injured 13 others earlier this week.
“Who the hell needs an assault weapon that can hold, in some cases, up to 100 rounds?” the president said.
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