Biden to warn 'MAGA movement,' Trump threaten US democracy in Arizona © Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) in San Francisco, California, U.S., September 27, 2023. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

By Jeff Mason

PHOENIX (Reuters) -President Joe Biden will deliver a speech on Thursday warning that the United States faces a threat to its democracy, returning to an attack against Republican Donald Trump and his allies ahead of a 2024 election that is likely to be another face-off between the two men.

Biden’s remarks in Phoenix, Arizona, will also honor the legacy of the late Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee who died in 2018. Biden and McCain remained friends despite deep political differences.

Biden will warn “there is something dangerous happening in America,” according to prepared remarks of his speech. “There is an extremist movement that does not share the basic beliefs of our democracy. The MAGA Movement.”

Biden will say he doesn’t think all Republicans ascribe to the ‘MAGA’ agenda, a reference to Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan. But he will say, “there is no question that today’s Republican Party is driven and intimidated by MAGA extremists.”

Biden’s speech comes days before a likely government shutdown, a situation forced by Republicans loyal to Donald Trump in the House of Representatives.

Biden’s quest for a second term comes amid concerns about his advanced age – he will turn 81 in November – and economic worries in the U.S. He has stepped up his warnings about the potential threat to democracy posed by Trump as exemplified by the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

At a campaign fundraiser in San Francisco on Wednesday night, Biden said he was running in part because “political violence in America is never, never, never, never acceptable.”

“Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy American democracy because they want to break down institutional structures,” he said.

Trump faces multiple indictments including for his role in the Jan. 6 riot that left several dead and over 100 police officers injured. He has suggested in recent weeks that the former Joint Chief of Staff deserves to be killed, and the Department of Justice should be defunded.

The White House official said Biden’s remarks in Tempe, Arizona, near Phoenix, will be the fourth in a series of speeches about the threat to democracy.

Biden will also announce funding from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan to construct the McCain Library in partnership with the McCain Institute and Arizona State University.

Biden’s speech follows the second 2024 Republican presidential debate held on Wednesday in California, which often devolved into cacophony, petty fights and bizarre comments by the seven candidates.

Trump, who again skipped the debate, was labeled “missing in action” by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, while former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie mocked him as “Donald Duck”.

Trump instead gave a speech in Detroit to autoworkers, where he attacked Biden’s support for electric vehicles.


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