US Midterms: Biden Urged Americans to Unite Against “Political Violence”

In News

US President Joe Biden has asked Americans to unite against “political violence” in the November 8 election. He has warned that candidates who refuse to accept defeat in next week’s midterm elections could put America on “the path to chaos.”

U.S. President Joe Biden greets Alyssa Cruz, an apprentice at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134, during an event on developing infrastructure jobs in the East Room of the White House on November 2, 2022 in Washington, DC. Biden highlighted his administration’s efforts to train Americans for jobs in broadband, construction, and manufacturing following the passages of the Infrastructure Law, CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act. [Oliver Contreras/Getty Images]

In Summary

  • US President Joe Biden accused of seeking to “divide and deflect” from next week’s midterm elections.
  • Republicans say he is working to distract Americans from his low approval ratings and US inflation.
  • A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll found that half of Americans believe voter fraud is a widespread problem.

Biden: Election denial “Unprecedented”

Mr. Biden, a Democrat, said that former President Donald Trump and his supporters were spreading “lies of conspiracy and malice.”

Republicans said that Mr. Biden was seeking to “divide and distract.”

Control of both houses of Congress and critical governorships are up for grabs in next week’s elections.

Most projections suggest that Republicans will win the House of Representatives, while the Senate could go either way.

Mr. Biden gave a nationally televised speech on Wednesday evening at Washington DC’s Union Station, just a few blocks from where Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol last year to try to change the results of the 2020 election.

Mr. Biden blamed Mr. Trump, who he didn’t name but called “the defeated former president,” for some Republican candidates’ threats to refuse to accept the results if they lose next week.

“That is the path to chaos in America,” said Mr. Biden. “It hasn’t happened before. It’s not legal. And it is not American.”

The president also tried to link Mr. Trump’s election rhetoric to an attack with a hammer last week on the husband of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

He said that Mr. Trump’s “big lie” that the 2020 election had been stolen was the reason for the attack on 82-year-old Paul Pelosi and the US Capitol riot.

Mr. Biden says it is a lie that fueled the dangerous rise in political violence and voter intimidation over the past two years.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (R) listens to House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) during a news conference following a caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center February 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. [Chip Somodevilla/Getty]

GOP: Biden working to distract Americans

The president spoke as a federal judge in Arizona issued a restraining order against a group of Trump supporters accused of harassing voters near polling places in the border state. These people have sometimes been armed or were wearing ballistic vests.

Last week, the US government sent a bulletin to law enforcement agencies warning of a “heightened threat” of violent domestic extremism and saying that people with “ideological grievances could target candidates and election workers.”

Republicans reacted to Mr. Biden’s comments by saying he was trying to get people to stop thinking about his low approval ratings and US inflation.

Kevin McCarthy, who would become speaker of the lower chamber of Congress if his party wins next week, said on Twitter that President Biden is trying to divide and distract Americans at a time when they need to work together because he can’t talk about how his policies have raised the cost of living.

McCarthy asserts that the American people aren’t buying it.

This week, a poll by Reuters/Ipsos found that half of Americans think voter fraud is a big problem, even though such cases are very rare.

CBS says that 306 of the 595 Republicans running for state-wide office have doubts about the 2020 presidential election.

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