Biden Urges Americans to Reject Political Violence and Intimidation

Just days away from the midterm election, the president says there is “no place for voter intimidation or violence”

Joe Biden on Hunter Biden Interview (CNN Tonight With Jake Tapper)

Amid ongoing U.S. political tension in the run-up to next week’s midterm election, President Joe Biden told Americans during a primetime address Wednesday that it is up to them to protect democracy.

Biden urged Americans to resist efforts from a small but “loud” minority in the Republican Party who would use “intimidation and violence” to get their way, and to vote against anyone who will not accept the results of a free and fair election.

“There’s no place for voter intimidation or violence in America, against Republicans or Democrats,” Biden said, apparently referring to incidents like armed people staking out polling sites in Arizona.

“We’ll have our differences — that’s the way it’s supposed to be,” Biden said of civil political debates, but warned that “our democracy is under threat” from those who try to interrupt the peaceful voting process.

“So today I appeal to all Americans, regardless of party, to meet this moment of national importance,” Biden said in an address broadcast Wednesday from Union Station in Washington, D.C.. “We the people must decide whether we will have fair and free elections, where every vote counts.”

As in his national address Sept. 1, Biden blamed former President Donald Trump for continuing to publicly spread election lies and hysteria among his most extreme followers, which resulted in distrust of the election system and the mob violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

“He refuses to accept the will of the people. He refuses to accept that he lost,” Biden said of Trump, calling him a “self-seeking autocrat.”

Biden referred to last week’s assault on Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, at their San Francisco home as part of the intimidation that Trump inspires. He said it cannot be ignored that police said the assailant asked “Where’s Nancy?” just before the assault.

“Those are the very same words used by the mob when they stormed the nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6. ‘Where’s Nancy?’” Biden said. “It was an enraged mob that had been whipped into a frenzy by a former president repeating the big lie” about a stolen election.

Biden said that these extremists are a small minority, and should not be tolerated by the mainstream of either of the major political parties.

“In this moment we have to confront those lies with the truth. The very future of our nation depends on it,” Biden said. “There is the old expression, that freedom is not free. Every American has to protect it and preserve it.”

The alternative, Biden said, is to allow a small minority to get away with using violent tactics to affect the political process.

“There is an alarming rise in the number of people in this country condoning political violence,” Biden said. “We must confront it head on now. It has to stop now. What we’re doing now will determine whether democracy will long endure.”

Biden hit a slightly softer note than in his last address, throwing in a call for togetherness in America.

“We need to start looking out for each other again,” Biden said. “This union and chaos are not inevitable. We must choose democracy.”