US midterms: Biden appeals to voters to consider future of democracy at the polls

‘We the people must decide whether we will have fair and free elections’ says US president

US president Joe Biden asked voters to consider the future of democracy when they vote in next week’s midterm elections, urging them to reject Donald Trump’s “big lie denying his 2020 defeat that’s fuelled political extremism and violence.

“I appeal to all Americans, regardless of party, to meet this moment of national and generational importance. We must vote, knowing what’s at stake,” Mr Biden said in a speech from Union Station in Washington, not far from the site of the January 6th, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.

“The issue couldn’t be clearer in my view: we the people must decide whether we will have fair and free elections, and every vote counts,” Mr Biden said..

He said more than 300 people who deny the result of the 2020 election are on ballots across the country and urged voters to reject them.


“As I stand here today, there are candidates running for every level of office in America: for governor, Congress, attorney general, secretary of state, who won’t commit, they will not commit, to accepting the results of the elections that they’re running in,” Mr Biden said. “That’s the path to chaos in America. It’s unprecedented. It’s unlawful. And it is un-American.”

Mr Biden also drew a line from Mr Trump’s refusal to accept the 2020 vote and the attack on the Capitol to the assault on Paul Pelosi, the husband of US House of Representatives Speaker, Nancy Pelosi.

Mr Biden said Paul Pelosi’s attacker “used a hammer to smash Paul’s skull”.

“It’s just, it’s hard to even say, after the assailant entered the home asking, Where’s Nancy, where’s Nancy.’ Those are the very same words used by the mob when they stormed the United States Capitol on January 6th,” he said.

“It was an enraged mob that 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. It’s a lie that fuelled the dangerous rise in political violence and voter intimidation over the past two years,” he said.

The speech comes six days before November 8th midterm elections in which polls show voters poised to hand control of one or both chambers of Congress to Republicans. That result would set up a pugnacious back-half to Mr Biden’s term, defined by congressional gridlock and investigations or even impeachment proceedings.

Mr Biden is looking to buck historically punishing trends for presidents in midterm elections, and as recently as this week predicted Democrats would make gains in the Senate, which is currently divided 50-50. – Bloomberg