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Biden is expected to deliver dark remarks Thursday showing his political opposition as a threat to democracy

Joe Biden
Joe Biden (images credit: Getty Images)

Biden’s speech comes after he accused Republicans of embracing ‘semi-facism’

President Biden is expected to launch a direct assault on Republicans during a prime-time address from outside Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.

Biden will travel to the birthplace of the United States Constitution on Thursday to lay out what Democrats see as an indictment of the Republican Party.

The remarks are expected to be a darker version of the speech Biden frequently gave on the 2020 campaign trail, in which he compared the election to a battle for the nation’s “soul.”

During a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, Biden alluded to the tone and content of his speech by accusing Republicans of abandoning the rule of law.

“You hear some of my friends in the other team talking about political violence and how it’s necessary,” the president said. “No one should be encouraged to use political violence.”

Biden made similarly inflammatory remarks last week during a rally in Maryland. The president accused Republicans of becoming the party of “semi-fascism.” At that event, Biden went a step further by saying former President Trump and Republicans were a threat to not just “personal rights and economic security, they’re a threat to our very democracy.” 

The president’s prime-time address on Thursday is expected to go into full depth about these attacks. Biden, in particular, is likely to depict the upcoming midterm elections as an opportunity to reject extremism rather than a contest between Democrats and Republicans.

“We’re seeing now either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA agenda,” Biden said at the rally in Maryland last week. “America must choose. You must choose.” 

The speech comes at a time when Biden’s approval rating has risen slightly and Democrats are feeling more optimistic about the midterm elections.

The morale boost is the result of Congress passing the White House’s $739 billion climate and tax legislation, as well as a key victory for Democrats in a special election in New York for a key congressional swing seat.

“Biden’s popularity is rebounding, and he’s starting to feel his oats,” said Brad Bannon, a Democratic political strategist. “The national political environment seems to be turning against Republicans, and Democrats are feeling the momentum.”

It remains to be seen whether Biden’s strategy will be successful.

Biden’s fiery rebuke of Republican senators who opposed his rewrite of the nation’s voting laws earlier this year backfired. Even top Democrats expressed concern that the president had gone “too far” in comparing Republican opponents to segregationists.

“These attacks don’t have a history of working,” said Richard Vatz, a professor at Towson University and author of a book on political messaging. “Politics is always filled with name-calling, but when it’s directed at a huge swath of the electorate, it winds up backfiring.”

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