In Dueling Speeches, Biden and Obama Warn That Democracy Is at a Breaking Point

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“This is the path to chaos in America.”

On Wednesday, both President Joe Biden and former president Barack Obama warned that if the current far-right extremist candidates win their elections next week, the country’s democratic foundations would be at risk. The dueling speeches came as Democrats scramble to urge voters in the final stretch before next week’s elections to reject election deniers on the ballot around the country.

“If you’ve got election deniers serving as your governor, as your senator, as your secretary of state, as your attorney general, then democracy, as we know it, may not survive in Arizona,” Obama told attendees at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona. “That’s not an exaggeration. That is a fact.” 

Obama specifically called out GOP gubernatorial candidate and former news anchor, Kari Lake, mentioning that she’d once interviewed him while he was president in 2016. In his story, Obama characterized Lake as a grifter, urging Arizonans not to elect someone based on their celebrity.

Lake is one of the most vocal election deniers in the GOP, even going as far as to call for the imprisonment of Arizona’s secretary of state—and Lake’s current opponent, Katie Hobbs—for certifying the 2020 election results. As my colleague, Isabela Dias, previously reported: 

President Biden made similar sentiments during a televised speech Wednesday evening, condemning the Republican candidates pushing Donald Trump’s election lies, as well as voter intimidation efforts and political violence that have surged in recent years.

“As I stand here today, there are candidates running for every level of office in America — for governor, Congress, attorney general, secretary of state—who won’t commit, they will not commit to accepting the results of the elections that they’re running in,” Biden said.

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