2024 Election /

Biden Blames Trump for Jan. 6 in First Campaign Speech of 2024

The Democrat accused the former Republican president's campaign of focusing on the past

Biden Blames Trump for Jan. 6 in First Campaign Speech of 2024

Former president Donald Trump was front and center of President Joe Biden's first major speech of 2024.

The incumbent Democrat focused on casting Trump, who currently leads in the Republican primary polls, as a divisive force while repeatedly highlighting the political tension in the nation during the event near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania on Jan. 5.

Biden called Jan. 6, 2021 “a day forever seared in our memory because it was on that day that we nearly lost America.”

Today we are here to answer the most important of questions: Is democracy still America's 'sacred cause'?" Biden posited while alluding to President George Washington during his remarks. “This is not rhetorical, academic, or hypothetical. Whether democracy's still America's 'sacred cause' is the most urgent question of our time. And it's what the 2024 election is all about.”

The choice is clear. Donald Trump's campaign is about him. Not America, not you. Donald Trump's campaign is obsessed with the past, not the future,” he continued.

Biden said his campaign was “different” — centering on “every age and background that occupied this country” as well as the “future we’re going to continue to build together.”

“Our campaign is about preserving and strengthening our American democracy,” he said. “Three years ago tomorrow, we saw with our own eyes the violent mob storm the United States Capitol. … For the first time in our history, insurrectionists had come to stop the peaceful transfer of power in America.”

The majority of the Democrat's speech focused on recalling and describing Jan. 6, 2021, and what took place at the Capitol.

Biden spoke of gallows being erected outside the capitol as the “MAGA crowd chanted ‘Hang Mike Pence’” and protestors who “hunted” for then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi inside the building. He also blamed “Donald Trump’s lies” that “brought a mob” to Washington, D.C. for the death of police officers who were involved in the response that day and accused Trump of doing nothing to deter the protestors.

“It was among the worst derelictions of duty by a president in American history,” said Biden. 

Trump filmed a video statement on Jan. 6, addressing the people protesting at the Capitol, before Twitter indefinitely blocked his account amid the turmoil at the Capitol.

“I know you are hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us,” Trump says in the video. “But you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anyone hurt.”

“This was a fraudulent election but we can’t play into the hands of these people,” he continued. “But we have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You’re very special… I know how you feel… But go home and go home in peace.” 

Biden used his campaign speech as his chance to denounce concerns about voter fraud, efforts by Trump’s supporters to investigate election-related deceptions, and Trump’s promise to potentially pardon people who were jailed in connection to Jan. 6.

“Let’s be about the 2020 election. Trump exhausted every legal avenue available to him to overturn the election – every one – but the legal path just took Trump back to the truth,” said Biden. “That I won the election and he was a loser.”

Biden spoke for just over 30 minutes and did not address any specific policies he plans to enact if elected for a second term.

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