WASHINGTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that threats by some Republican candidates to refuse to accept the results of the Nov. 8 election if they lose are a threat to democracy and he blamed former President Donald Trump for encouraging them.
“Make no mistake, democracy is on the ballot for all of us,” Biden said in a speech just days before Americans decide whether Democrats retain control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives or cede power to Republicans.
Biden, speaking at Washington’s Union Station not far from Capitol Hill, used the hammer attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, in the San Francisco home as proof that democracy is under threat less than two years after January 6. , 2021, attack on the US Capitol.
“The assailant entered the house asking, ‘Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?’ Those are the same words used by the mob when they stormed the US Capitol on January 6,” Biden said.
He urged voters to “think long and hard about the moment we are in”.
“As I stand here today, there are candidates running for every level of office in America – for governor, for Congress, for attorney general, for secretary of state – who will not commit to accepting the results of their election. Re-enter,” he said.
Biden said the election rejection had been inspired by Trump, who is considering a presidential run in 2024 as Biden works to decide whether he wants to seek another four-year term.
Biden said “American democracy is under attack” because Trump will not accept the results of the 2020 election in which he lost to Biden.
“He refused to accept the will of the people, he refused to accept that he lost,” Biden said.
Biden, who is campaigning for Democrats in the waning days before next Tuesday’s midterm elections, faces the possibility that Republicans will win control of Congress, which would block his agenda.
Most midterm forecasts predict Republicans are almost certain to take control of the House, while the Senate is a toss-up.
Biden said the “fate of the nation” is in the people, and he struck an optimistic note at the close of his 20-minute speech.
“Fellow Americans, we will meet this moment. We just have to remember who we are. We are the United States of America. There is nothing beyond our capacity if we do it together,” he said.
Voter fraud is rare in America, but a large number of Americans are concerned. A Reuters/Ipsos poll concluded on Monday found that 49% of Americans think voter fraud is a widespread problem, with 34% of Democrats and 69% of Republicans holding that view.
Some 44% said they were concerned that the US election was rigged, including 28% of Democrats and 62% of Republicans.
Despite those beliefs, 67% of respondents said they believed their own votes would be counted accurately, including a majority of Democrats and Republicans.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Jeff Mason; written by Steve Holland and Doina Chiacu; editing by Deepa Babington and Leslie Adler
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