Joe Biden slams Donald Trump; says democracy and freedom under threat in US and world


Seeking a second term, US President Joe Biden has launched a vitriolic attack against his rival and predecessor Donald Trump and accused him of threatening democracy within the country and globally, kneeling before Russia and supporting “resentment, revenge and retribution”.

Without taking the name of Trump, Biden in his final State of the Union Address to the joint session of the US Congress, identified him as his predecessor, which he mentioned as many as 13 times in his speech that lasted for over an hour. Following Super Tuesday, decks have become clear for a rematch of 2022 in the November presidential elections. Biden, 81, who is the oldest president of the US slammed Trump, 77, Trump on several issues ranging from his recent comment on Russian President Vladimir Putin, immigration, January 6 insurrection, abortion, and gun control.

“A president, my predecessor, who failed the most basic duty. Any President owes the American people the duty to care. That is unforgivable,” Biden, a Democrat, said amidst multiple standing ovations from the lawmakers.

”Now, my predecessor, a former Republican President, tells Putin, “Do whatever the hell you want”. A former American President actually said that, bowing down to a Russian leader. It’s outrageous. It’s dangerous. It’s unacceptable,” Biden said.

Trump recently said he would encourage Russia to do “whatever the hell they want” to any NATO member country that doesn’t meet spending guidelines on defence in a stunning admission he would not abide by the collective defence clause at the heart of the alliance if reelected.

Biden said he came to the office determined to get America through one of the toughest periods in the nation’s history. “Not since President Lincoln and the Civil War have freedom and democracy been under assault here at home as they are today. What makes our moment rare is that freedom and democracy are under attack, both at home and overseas, at the very same time. Overseas, Putin of Russia is on the march, invading Ukraine and sowing chaos throughout Europe and beyond,” he said.

He also sought the support of the US Congress for providing weapons to Ukraine to stop Russia.

“If anybody in this room thinks Putin will stop at Ukraine, I assure you, he will not. But Ukraine can stop Putin if we stand with Ukraine and provide the weapons it needs to defend itself. That is all Ukraine is asking,” Biden said.

They are not asking for American soldiers. In fact, there are no American soldiers at war in Ukraine, he said.

”And I am determined to keep it that way,” he said.

“But now assistance for Ukraine is being blocked by those who want us to walk away from our leadership in the world,” he said.

A former American President actually said that, bowing down to a Russian leader. It’s outrageous. It’s dangerous. It’s unacceptable,” Biden said amidst multiple standing ovations from the lawmakers.

Biden said history is watching, just like history watched three years ago on January 6, referring to the mob attack on the United States Capitol Building in Washington, DC, by supporters of then-US president Trump, two months after his defeat in the 2020 presidential election.

“We all saw with our own eyes these insurrectionists were not patriots. They had come to stop the peaceful transfer of power and to overturn the will of the people. January 6th and the lies about the 2020 election, and the plots to steal the election, posed the gravest threat to our democracy since the Civil War. But they failed. America stood strong and democracy prevailed,” Biden said.

“But we must be honest, the threat remains and democracy must be defended. My predecessor and some of you here seek to bury the truth of January 6th. I will not do that. This is a moment to speak the truth and bury the lies. I will do that,” Biden said.

”Between those who want to pull America back to the past and those who want to move America into the future. My lifetime has taught me to embrace freedom and democracy,” Biden said.

A future based on the core values that have defined America.

”Now some other people my age see a different story. An American story of resentment, revenge, and retribution,” he said.

”Past administrations, including my predecessor, failed to Buy American,” he said.

“Over one hundred million of you can no longer be denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. But my predecessor and many in this chamber want to take that protection away by repealing the Affordable Care Act. I won’t let that happen! We stopped you 50 times before and we will stop you again!” he said.

Biden also slammed Trump on his border policies and said that his predecessor has opposed his move on immigration and border security.

He forcefully called on Republican lawmakers in Congress to pass a bipartisan immigration compromise that stalled last month, accusing them of derailing the proposal for political reasons.

“He feels it would be a political win for me and a political loser for him. It’s not about him or me. It’d be a winner for America!” he said.

“My Republican friends you owe it to the American people to get this bill done. We need to act. And if my predecessor is watching instead of playing politics and pressuring members of Congress to block this bill, join me in telling Congress to pass it! We can do it together.

Source: Press Trust of India

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