Biden accuses Trump of using Nazi rhetoric in campaign speech

US President Joe Biden has stepped up his re-election campaign with a sharp attack on his alleged rival Donald Trump. In a speech on Friday, Biden accused right-wing populist Trump of using Nazi rhetoric and posing a threat to democracy. “He is willing to sacrifice our democracy to gain power,” said the Democrat. Trump accused Biden of “scaremongering” during an appearance in Iowa.

“He calls those who are against him vermin,” Biden said, referring to Trump. “He talks about Americans’ blood being poisoned (by migrants) and repeats the exact same language that was used in Nazi Germany.”

The 81-year-old described his presumed challenger in November’s presidential election as a “loser” of the 2020 election and as “sick” because he laughed at a hammer attack on the husband of former US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Biden’s address was originally scheduled for the anniversary of the storming of the Capitol on Saturday, but was brought forward due to an impending winter storm. On January 6, 2021, fanatical Trump supporters broke into the Capitol in Washington – the seat of Congress – to prevent the formal confirmation of Biden’s election victory over Trump. Trump had previously fired up his supporters in an angry speech.

Biden presented himself as a defender of US institutions and warned of a threat to democracy in the event of an election victory for the right-wing populist, whose supporters still advocated violence. “Trump’s attack on democracy is not just part of his past. This is his promise for the future,” Biden warned.

“The most pressing question of our era is knowing whether democracy is still sacred,” Biden said. Views about the storming of the Capitol still differ in the US three years later: According to a survey published this week by the Washington Post and the University of Maryland, a quarter of US citizens believe that the FBI was behind the storming of the Capitol there is no evidence of it.

Biden chose a historic location in the state of Pennsylvania for his campaign appearance. Blue Bell is located near Valley Forge, where the future first US President George Washington camped with his troops in the Revolutionary War against the British colonial rulers in the winter of 1777-78.

Biden recently recorded miserable approval ratings of less than 40 percent – despite an improvement in the US economic situation – and his re-election campaign has not yet really gained momentum. Given that there are no serious competitors among the Democrats, his re-nomination is almost certain.

Because of his attempts to overturn the election results, Trump was indicted twice, by the federal judiciary and in the state of Georgia. The trials could begin in the coming months and thus in the middle of the election campaign.

Trump’s campaign team went on the counterattack after Biden’s speech: Trump spokesman Steven Chung told AFP that Biden is “the real threat to democracy” by using “the government as a weapon against his main political opponent” and “interfering in the 2024 election “. The ex-president himself told supporters in Sioux Center, Iowa, that Biden was “scaremongering” because he had an “unbroken series of weakness, incompetence, corruption and failure.”

Trump faces additional charges, but his legal entanglements have not hurt him in the presidential race so far. The right-wing populist uses his court dates for election campaign appearances in which he portrays himself as a victim of a justice system motivated by party politics. In the national polls, Trump and Biden are roughly tied. In several of the states considered crucial to the election – the so-called swing states – Trump was recently ahead of the president.

The 77-year-old is the clear favorite in the Republicans’ internal race for the presidential nomination. With an average rating of more than 60 percent in the surveys, he is well ahead of his six competitors. The month-long series of primaries to select presidential candidates begins on January 15 in the state of Iowa, where Republicans will vote on the candidates.