Mandel Ngan Agence France-Presse US President Joe Biden during his campaign speech on Friday
Inès Bel Aiba – Agence France-Presse, Danny Kemp – Agence France-Presse, Mandel Ngan – Agence France-Presse in Blue Bell and Washington
- United States
Joe Biden launched a frontal attack on his rival Donald Trump on Friday, accusing him of using the rhetoric of Nazi Germany in a major speech with which he hopes to boost his campaign for the November presidential election.
Almost three years to the day after the assault on the Capitol, the Democratic president presented the election as a choice between a man “obsessed with the past” and his own interests (Donald Trump) and another to whom only “America” and “the future” (himself) matter.
Donald Trump, a great Republican favorite, “is willing to sacrifice our democracy in order to obtain power,” blasted the Democratic president near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, a historic site of the American War of Independence.
“He talks about the blood of Americans being poisoned, using the exact same language that was used in Nazi Germany,” continued Biden, 81, who is neck and neck or just behind Donald Trump in the latest polls.
The president was scheduled to deliver his speech on Saturday, three years to the day after the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol by Donald Trump supporters who attempted to stop the certification of Joe's victory Biden, but the date was moved up to Friday because of a storm forecast.
- An American presidential election which begins in a climate of distrust
Offensive, Joe Biden spoke at length on Friday about the violence of January 6, “a day forever etched in our memory because it was that day we almost lost America.”
The assault on the Capitol remains a subject of contention in the United States: a quarter of Americans believe, without proof, that the FBI was behind it, according to a poll by the Washington Post and the University of Maryland released this week.
Hence the fact that “the most urgent question of our time [is] whether democracy is still America’s sacred cause,” he said. “That’s what the 2024 election is all about.”
“Trump and his MAGA (“Make America Great Again”) supporters not only condone political violence, they laugh about it,” denounced Joe Biden.
A Trump spokesperson, Steven Cheung, immediately retorted that Mr. Biden was “the real threat to democracy.” He accused him of “using the government as a weapon to attack his main political opponent” and interfering in the election, in reference to the numerous cases surrounding Mr. Trump in court.
And during a meeting in Iowa, Donald Trump accused his Democratic rival of “stoking fears,” calling the current president’s campaign event “pathetic.”< /p>
During his last campaign in 2020, Joe Biden had already described his duel with Donald Trump as a “battle for the soul of America”.
The location chosen by the Democrat for his speech is symbolic: Valley Forge saw George Washington, the future first president of the United States, rally the American military forces that fought against the British Empire almost 250 years ago.< /p>
“We chose Valley Forge because George Washington unified the colonies there,” said Mr. Biden’s deputy campaign manager, Quentin Fulks. “Then he became president and laid the foundation for the peaceful transition of power — something Donald Trump and the Republicans refused to do.”
Thorns in the foot
The Republican real estate mogul still claims, without the slightest proof, that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him.
“Let’s be clear about the 2020 election […]. I won the election, he was the loser,” Joe Biden said to applause, presenting himself as the guardian of American democracy.
“We all know who Donald Trump is. The question we need to answer is who are we! », he said, urging voters to mobilize.
This boost to Joe Biden's campaign comes after criticism from some Democrats, who believe that it has so far been weak.
The president is still struggling to convince voters that the economy is improving despite more favorable employment figures than expected on Friday.
Other thorns in his side: immigration and the Mexican border puzzle, support for Israel's war against Hamas which divides his party or even Congress which blocks his request for additional funds to Ukraine.
Joe Biden's refusal to mention Donald Trump's multiple legal cases also deprived him of one of his main weapons against the Republican billionaire.
But Joe Biden's first flaw probably remains his age. He has the worst popularity rating for a sitting president in the month of December preceding an election.