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Biden Plans 2 Campaign Speeches to Underscore Contrasts With Trump

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Biden Plans 2 Campaign Speeches to Underscore Contrasts With Trump


President Biden is intensifying his campaign efforts as he looks toward November, planning a series of speeches that aides said on Wednesday would cast the stakes of the coming election as the endurance of American democracy itself.

Even before a single vote is cast in the Republican Party’s nominating race, Mr. Biden and his team are treating former President Donald J. Trump as their de facto opponent in the general election. They’re seeking to frame the contest not as a traditional referendum on the incumbent president and his governance of the nation, but as an existential battle to save the country from a dangerous opponent.

With the calendar flipped to 2024, Mr. Biden is making a notable escalation of his re-election campaign with an address planned at Valley Forge in Pennsylvania on Saturday, the anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot by a pro-Trump mob.

The location, where George Washington commanded troops during the Revolutionary War, is intended to draw a sharp contrast between Washington, who voluntarily ceded power after serving as the nation’s first president, and Mr. Trump, who refuses to accept the results of the 2020 race. On Monday, Mr. Biden will appear in Charleston, S.C., at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historically Black church where a white supremacist killed nine parishioners in 2015. The venue embodies the country’s current fight against political violence and white supremacy, his campaign said.

The two speeches are part of an effort to redirect attention from Mr. Biden’s low approval numbers and remind Democratic and independent voters of the alternative to his re-election. In recent weeks, campaign aides have seized on Mr. Trump’s violent and authoritarian rhetoric and potentially radical plans for a second term.

“The threat Donald Trump posed in 2020 to American democracy has only grown more dire in the years since,” said Julie Chávez Rodríguez, Mr. Biden’s campaign manager. “Our message is clear and it is simple. We are running a campaign like the fate of our democracy depends on it. Because it does.”

Mr. Biden has held only one public event for his 2024 campaign, though in many official White House appearances he has drawn contrasts between his leadership and that of Mr. Trump and other Republicans. He has focused instead on wooing donors in private fund-raising events.

Mr. Biden’s appearances will also provide voters with the first side-by-side contrast between himself and his predecessor this election cycle. Mr. Trump is scheduled to hold two campaign rallies on Saturday in Iowa, where he leads the nomination contest by a double-digit margin.

For months, Democrats have issued public and private warnings about the need for Mr. Biden’s campaign to engage more aggressively in the 2024 efforts. Polls suggest a neck-and-neck race, with Mr. Biden struggling to energize key constituencies of the Democratic coalition, including young, Black and Latino voters.

Biden aides said the campaign planned to hire organizing teams in every battleground state, eventually employing thousands of staff members across the country. A new round of campaign ads is planned later this week.

They also plan to dispatch Vice President Kamala Harris on a national tour, focused on abortion rights, that will begin in Wisconsin on Jan. 22, the 51st anniversary of the landmark abortion-rights decision in Roe v. Wade. The Supreme Court struck down that ruling in 2022 with the support of three Trump-appointed justices.



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