Biden warns election deniers leading U.S. on ‘path to chaos’

President Biden on Wednesday issued a stark warning of threats to American democracy and used a prime-time speech to highlight stakes in next week’s midterm elections.

“As I stand here today, there are candidates running for every office in America … who do not commit to accepting the results of the elections they are in,” he said.

“This is the way to chaos in America. It’s unprecedented. It’s unlawful,” he added.

In the speech, moderated by the Democratic National Committee, Biden reiterated warnings he had issued over the past few months. The president has attempted to portray Republicans as an extremist party loyal to former President Trump’s Make America Great Again, or MAGA, movement and has argued that a GOP victory on Nov. 8 would jeopardize American democracy would.

According to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight, at least 199 GOP candidates for state or federal office in next week’s election specifically accepted the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen or worked to overturn their results. Biden and his party have spent much of the last year sounding the alarm about the threat these candidates pose to democracy. But even as Democrats railed against these candidates, some liberal groups helped push them up in the Republican primary, hoping they would be easier to beat in the general election.

Despite those efforts, Republicans are favored to gain control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, snarling Democrats’ plans for the next two years.

Biden delivered Wednesday’s remarks at the Columbus Club at Union Station in Washington, near the site of the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol. His choice of venue was intended to remind viewers of the threat of political violence, White House Official Anita Dunn told a panel hosted by Axios on Wednesday.

“I wish I could say that the attack on our democracy ended that day,” Biden said of the January 6 attacks. “But I can not.”

Biden’s warnings of further political violence came just days after Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, suffered a fractured skull and other serious injuries in a home invasion at the couple’s San Francisco home. Federal officials said alleged attacker David DePape planned to hold Speaker Pelosi hostage and fracture her kneecaps.

During a fundraiser for Democratic Florida gubernatorial nominee Charlie Crist on Tuesday, Biden slammed some Republicans for failing to condemn the Pelosi attack and for spreading conspiracy theories about it online.

“Look at the Republican reaction and joke about it,” Biden told the crowd. “These guys are extremely extreme.”

During a campaign rally Monday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake joked about the attack. Donald Trump Jr. posted several comments on social media mocking the episode.

Former President Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are among GOP leaders who have condemned the attack, although Trump has also spread false narratives about it.

A majority of voters agree that democracy is under threat, but they are largely divided on how to address the threat and whether it remains a priority this election cycle, according to a New York Times poll released last month and Siena College.

About 71% of registered voters in the poll said democracy was under threat, but only 7% said it was the country’s most important issue. Inflation and the economy ranked as more pressing issues for voters. Biden warns election deniers leading U.S. on ‘path to chaos’

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