Reported by JORDAN LANCASTER, REPORTER | July 13, 2021
President Joe Biden repeated a talking point that called Republicans’ election reform bills the greatest threat to democracy “since the Civil War” and compared Jan. 6 rioters to Confederate soldiers during a Tuesday speech.
Biden spoke at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia Tuesday afternoon. He called GOP election integrity efforts “an assault on democracy, an assault on liberty” and “an assault on who we are.” The president referred to his oath of office, where he swore to protect the country against both foreign and domestic threats.
“Bullies and merchants of fear, peddlers of lies, are threatening the very foundation of our country,” Biden told the crowd. “The assault on free and fair elections is not just a threat. Literally – I’ve said it before – we’re facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. That’s not hyperbole.”
He also compared Jan. 6 rioters to Confederate soldiers.
“Confederates, back then, never breached the Capitol, as insurrectionists did on January 6,” the president said.
“Has anyone in the White actually read the Voter Law in Texas?“
Biden’s comments echo those of White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who also compared Republican election reform efforts to the Civil War during Monday’s press conference.
After polls revealed that around 75% of Republicans questioned the outcome of the 2020 election, state Republican legislatures and governors introduced legislation attempting to reform voting laws and restore trust in the election process. The process has been politically fraught and, in each state, often garnered national media attention.
Most recently, a group of Democratic lawmakers from Texas — one of the states attempting to pass election reforms — fled the state to prevent Texas Republicans from reaching the two-thirds quorum necessary to pass legislation.