President Biden said Monday night at a fundraising event for the “Broadway for Biden” campaign that “democracy is at stake” if he is not re-elected next year – while trying to circumvent the question of his octogenarian status.
“A lot of people seem focused on my age,” the 80-year-old told the audience who paid between $250 and $7,500 to hear him speak at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater. “I understand, believe me, I know more than anyone.”
The oldest president in history also cracked a joke at his expense, saying he was “more optimistic about the future of this country than in the 800 years I’ve served,” which made the participants laugh.
But Biden then made his case for re-election, saying he “knew what to do” during the COVID-19 pandemic and promising he would “not side with dictators like (Russian President Vladimir) Putin” .
“Maybe Trump and his MAGA friends can bow, but I won’t,” the president said as he turned to attack his predecessor, whom he said he had “without a doubt” defeated last time “because of people like you”.
“I’m running because democracy is at stake, because in 2024, democracy is on the ballot again,” Biden said. “And let there be no doubt: Donald Trump and his MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy American democracy. And I will always defend, protect and fight for our democracy.
The president also returned to a theme of his 2020 campaign: his decision to run for president was prompted by a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, which left one person dead and Dozens injured after car accident. hit a crowd of demonstrators.
“I’m running because – listen to this – I want the entire nation to join me in sending the loudest, clearest, most powerful message possible that political violence in America is never, ever , never acceptable,” he said.
“I do not believe that America is a dark and negative nation, a nation of carnage driven by anger and fear and revenge,” Biden added, referring to his predecessor’s inauguration speech. “Donald Trump does it. To his followers he says, “I am your punishment”… “We are a bankrupt nation,” he says. “Either they win or we win and (if they) win we don’t have a country anymore.” Have you ever heard the President of the United States say that?
The fundraiser included performances of popular songs from the musicals “Chicago” and “West Side Story” and appearances by Tony Award winners and Broadway bigwigs like the creator of “Hamilton” and “In The Heights” , Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Biden’s speech comes as recent polls have highlighted voters’ concerns about the aging population, which will be 86 by the end of his possible second term.
According to a recent Associated Press-NORC poll, 77% of American voters think Biden is too old to serve a second term. Two-thirds of Democrats agree that Biden’s age is disqualifying, according to a Wall Street Journal survey released earlier this month.
A Harvard/CAPS-Harris poll released Monday also found that Trump and fellow Republican candidates Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) all beat Biden in head-to-head matchups. -to face.
The commander in chief attended his Broadway fundraiser and another event hosted by the Black Economic Alliance ahead of campaign finance filing deadlines at the end of the third quarter.
Hollywood donors spent a lot of money on Biden’s 2020 campaign, but some have expressed reservations about the president serving another term.
New York Post