Biden aide speaks of ‘one final warning’
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain stated on Thursday that US President Joe Biden’s pre-midterm speech was intended as “one final warning” to so-called “election deniers,” meaning Republicans pushing for tighter voting laws or questioning the legitimacy of his 2020 victory.
In a prime-time address from Union Station in Washington, DC, Biden claimed on Wednesday that “democracy is under threat” from Republican candidates on the ballot next week, 300 of whom he called “election deniers.”
“I think the president decided a few days ago it was important to issue one final warning on this issue,” Klain told MSNBC. He added that the president aimed to “leave no doubt that we have people out there still peddling the big lie, people now raising the issue of election denial in this election, and of course the horrible incident involving Speaker Pelosi and her family,” referring to an attack on Pelosi’s husband that Democrats say was politically motivated, but some conservatives see as the actions of a “mentally ill, drug-addicted nudist,” to quote Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
Klain did not elaborate on what Biden intends to follow his “final warning” with.
Biden and his fellow Democrats began using the term “election deniers” in recent weeks to describe Republicans – like former president Donald Trump – who consider the 2020 election tainted by fraud. The term has also been applied to GOP candidates promising to introduce voter ID laws and restrict voting by mail, which they argue is open to manipulation.
While Biden’s speech referenced supposed “threats” to democracy more than a dozen times, a majority of voters say they’re more concerned with the state of the US economy. A CNN poll published on Wednesday found that 51% of likely voters see the economy and inflation as the joint top issue facing the country, compared to just 9% who named “voting rights and election integrity” as their number-one concern.
The same poll showed Republicans with a 45-point advantage over Democrats when it comes to handling the economy.
Nevertheless, Biden and his supporters have focused their pre-election messaging on the so-called threat to democracy posed by the GOP. Speaking to MSNBC after Biden’s speech, historian Michael Beschloss, a confidant of the president, claimed that “children will be arrested and conceivably killed” if Republicans retake Congress next week. Beschloss provided no evidence to back up this prediction.