President Biden warned the nation Wednesday evening of threats facing American democracy, drawing a line from the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and Republican efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, to the violent attack last week on Paul Pelosi, to the intimidation of midterm voters and candidates' express refusal to commit to accepting election results before the ballots are cast. "The very future of our nation depends on my fellow Americans," Biden said, per the Washington Post. "We must, with one overwhelming unified voice, speak as a country and say there's no place ... for voter intimidation or political violence in America, whether it’s directed at Democrats or Republicans."
The president delivered the televised address from historic Union Station in Washington, where Harry Truman boarded a train out of town in 1953 after peacefully turning over the presidency to Dwight Eisenhower, per the Post, and Biden stepped off a train in 2001 to see smoke rising from the Pentagon after the 9/11 attack. "What we're doing now is going to determine whether democracy will long endure," Biden said. In six days, voters will choose between the "dream of a democracy and the appetites of an autocracy," he said.
Biden confronted election denials directly, saying the nation is in this position because the "defeated former president of the United States refused to accept the results of the 2020 election"—without saying Donald Trump's name. He pointed out that claims the voting was fraudulent have been disproven repeatedly. "Every legal challenge that could have been brought was brought," Biden said. "Every recount that could have been undertaken was undertaken, every recount confirmed the results." He asked voters to be patient next week as ballots are counted and to reject conspiracy theories, political violence, and intimidation of voters and election officials, per the New York Times. "In this moment, we have to confront those lies with the truth," Biden said. "The very future of our nation depends on it." (Read more President Biden stories.)