WASHINGTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden will say on Wednesday that threats by some Republican candidates to refuse to accept the election results if they lose are a “path to chaos” and will urge voters to reject election denialists.
The White House released excerpts of a speech Biden will deliver later Wednesday night to help Democrats fend off a strong challenge from Republicans and maintain control of the US Congress.
Biden says the Nov. 8 elections will be the first since supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. “I wish I could say that the assault on our democracy ended that day. But I can’t,” Biden said, according to excerpts.
Biden will speak at the Democratic National Committee event at 7 pm/2300 GMT at Washington Union Station near Capitol Hill.
“Think long and hard about the moment we’re in,” he urges voters.
“As I stand here today, there are candidates running for every level of office in America: for governor, for Congress, for attorney general, for secretary of state. They are not bound to accept the results of the election,” he said.
“That’s the way America is messed up. It’s unprecedented. It’s illegal. And, it’s un-American,” Biden says.
The Democratic National Committee said Biden will “address the threat of voter denialists and those who seek to undermine faith in voting and democracy; and the stakes in our democracy in next week’s election.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that Biden believes it is important to speak out “loud and clear” against political violence and against those who say they do not accept the election results.
“This is an inflection point,” he told a regular White House briefing. “The president believes that what we’re seeing and what we’re hearing from MAGA Republican officials — extreme Republican officials who say they’re not going to accept this election — is a threat to our democracy.”
The speech came against the backdrop of last year’s attack on the US Capitol and the weekend attack on Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Anita Dunn, a senior White House adviser, told the Axios program.
Most midterm forecasts show Republicans almost certain to take control of the House and the Senate a toss-up.
Looking ahead to 2024, Dunn said Biden intends to run for re-election, as he has said in the past. Although a formal announcement is yet to come, “we are engaged in some planning,” he said.
Trump’s supporters besieged the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in an attempt to stop the official certification of Biden’s victory in the November 2020 election.
Dozens of court reviews, state officials and members of Trump’s own administration have refuted his false claims that his election loss was the result of widespread fraud, which he has continued to air since leaving office.
Voter fraud is extremely rare in America, but a significant number of Americans are concerned. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday found that 49% of Americans think voter fraud is a widespread problem, compared with 34% of Democrats and 69% of Republicans who share that view.
44% are concerned that the US election is rigged, including 28% of Democrats and 62% of Republicans.
Despite those beliefs, 67% of respondents said they were confident their own ballots would be counted accurately, including a broad majority of Democrats and Republicans.
Reporting by Andrea Shallal and Jeff Mason; Written by Steve Holland and Doina Chiaku, edited by Deepa Babington
Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.