President Joe Biden delivered an impassioned speech Tuesday at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia about voting rights and the 2020 election—the results of which continue to be questioned by some, including former President Donald Trump.
“We’re facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War,” Biden said. “That’s not hyperbole — since the Civil War.”
Biden excoriated Republican efforts to improve voting security, claiming the GOP-supported laws suppress people’s right to vote. He also invoked the memory of civil rights leaders like the late Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.).
“In 2020 more people voted in America than ever, ever in the history of American in the middle of a once in a century pandemic,” Biden said. “No other election has ever been held under such scrutiny, such high standards. The big lie is just that, a big lie.”
He urged people to support the For the People Act, which passed the House on a nearly party-line vote (one Democrat, Rep. Bennie Thompson, voted no) but failed in the Senate due to a Republican filibuster. Democrats say the bill would make it easier to vote while Republicans note it forbids voter ID mandates and uses public money to pay for politician’s campaigns.
Biden also slammed a recent Supreme Court decision upholding an Arizona law banning ballot harvesting by partisan activists and required people to vote in their precincts.
“Here’s the deal. In 2020, democracy was put to a test first by the pandemic, then by a desperate attempt to deny the reality of the results of the election, then by a violent and deadly insurrection on the Capitol, the citadel of our democracy,” Biden said.
He warned about a new wave of “voter suppression” in 2022.
“No matter what, you can never stop the American people from voting,” said Biden. “They will decide. The power must always be with the people.”
“We’ll be asking our Republican friends to…stand up for God’s sake,” Biden said. “And help prevent this concerted effort to undermine our elections, the sacred right to vote. Have you no shame?”
The Republican National Committee’s Director of Black Media Affairs, Paris Dennard, and Pennsylvania GOP Chairman Lawrence Tabas held a conference call with members of the press to respond to Biden’s speech.
“I think it’s important for the American people, especially those in Pennsylvania, to remember that Joe Biden is lying,” Dennard said. “And there is no other way to get around it. The things that they’re doing, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and the other Democrats are intentionally lying to the American people in speech after speech, interview after interview that they give, when they spread this false narrative about the Republican efforts to actually expand voting opportunities by doing so in a way that actually makes it easier to vote but harder to cheat.”
Dennard noted Tuesday was the day of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which is being held in Denver, Colo. instead of Atlanta as originally planned. “Because, again, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris lied about the Georgia election law. And he was in Philadelphia today spreading more lies.”
Meanwhile, polls show most Americans want to be vote “in a safe and secure manner,” and 74 percent of Pennsylvanians approve of requiring voters to have identification to vote, he said.
Tabas said, “It is really upsetting today to see the president inciting fear with false outrage, pitting Americans against each other simply to cover up the Democrat’s power grab over one of our most sacred rights, the right to vote.”
“What the president did today in Philadelphia is exactly what Tom Wolf and Josh Shapiro have been doing in Pennsylvania,” said Tabas. “Pitting Pennsylvanians against each other with false stories and name-calling and mocking the integrity of one citizen against another.”
“We want to make sure there is safe, reliable voting,” Tabas said, noting most Americans agree with having a photo ID to vote. “What is it that they’re trying to hide? What is it that they are so afraid of, that they can’t win an election unless they control all of the rules and all of the rules in all of the states? Because that’s exactly what’s going on here.”
Responding to a question from Delaware Valley Journal asking for specific lies that Biden told, Tabas said, “Every time Republicans propose laws to make elections fair and reliable, that would inspire confidence in the outcome, to all voters, Democrats, independents, and Republicans, as well, when we propose that legislation, Biden says that we’re being ‘vote suppressors.’”
Republican-sponsored voting legislation vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf would have “absolutely would have made the voting process not only more secure but more accessible,” Tabas said. Biden “wants to impose his HR1, his Democrat control of all state voting processes. That’s what he is doing that’s false and misleading. And he really should not be pitting Americans against Americans on this. He should be working with us in a bipartisan manner to come up with something so that every American is confident in the outcome of our elections.”