Biden: Trump's 'Extremist' MAGA Is a Threat to the US

Its followers do 'not share the basic beliefs of our democracy,' says the president
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 28, 2023 2:39 PM CDT
Biden: Trump's 'Extremist' MAGA Is a Threat to the US
President Joe Biden speaks at an event in Largo, Md., in this Sept. 14, 2023, file photo.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

President Biden says "there is something dangerous happening in America" as he revives his warnings that Donald Trump and his allies represent an existential threat to the country's democratic institutions. "There is an extremist movement that does not share the basic beliefs of our democracy—the MAGA movement," Biden says in excerpts of his Thursday speech in Arizona released in advance by the White House, per the AP. Although voting in the 2024 Republican primaries doesn't begin for months, Biden's focus reflects Trump's status as the undisputed frontrunner for his party's nomination despite facing four indictments, two of them related to his attempts to overturn Biden's victory in the 2020 election.

Biden's speech is his fourth in a series of presidential addresses on the topic, a cause that is a touchstone for him as he tries to remain in office even in the face of low approval ratings and widespread concern from voters about his age, 80. The location for Thursday's speech in Tempe, as was the case for the others, was chosen for effect. It will be near Arizona State University, which houses the McCain Institute, named after the late Arizona Sen. John McCain—a friend of Biden and the 2008 Republican presidential nominee who spent his public life denouncing autocrats around the globe.

"I have come to honor the McCain Institute and Library because they are home to a proud Republican who put country first," Biden says in the excerpts. "Our commitment should be no less because democracy should unite all Americans—regardless of political affiliation." As Biden has tried to do in the past, he designed Thursday's speech to avoid alienating moderate Republicans while confronting the spread of anti-democratic rhetoric. "Not every Republican-–not even the majority of Republicans—adhere to the extremist MAGA ideology," he will say. "I know because I've been able to work with Republicans my whole career. But there is no question that today's Republican Party is driven and intimidated by MAGA extremists."

(More President Biden stories.)

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