President Joe Biden and Donald Trump launched multi-state campaign blitzes Thursday (Friday Manila time) ahead of midterm elections that could end up hobbling the Democrat’s next two years, while setting the stage for a Trump comeback attempt.
Trump stopped short of announcing his candidacy during an 80-minute speech in Sioux City, Iowa on Thursday. But only just.
“This is the year we’re going to take back the House,” he told a cheering crowd.
“We’re going to take back the Senate. We’re going to take back America and then in 2024, most importantly, we are going to take back our magnificent White House,” he said.
“I will very, very, very probably do it again.”
Trump—who remains the Republican party’s de facto leader and possible 2024 presidential candidate despite losing the 2020 election and being under investigation for stashing top secret presidential documents at his Florida golf resort and for other reasons—is on the offensive.
Hitting four key electoral states in five days—Iowa on Thursday, then Florida, Pennsylvania and finally Ohio on Monday—Trump is reinforcing his role as Republican overlord. If his efforts pay off with victories for his preferred candidates on Tuesday, he will notonly expand his powerful group in Congress but create momentum for what many believe is a likely announcement that he’s seeking a second presidential term in 2024.
For Biden, the personal stakes are also high.
If Republicans seize control of Congress, Biden will likely face a permanent political dog fight and legislative gridlock over the next two years of his administration.
It’s believed that declaration of a Trump presidential candidacy would also strongly motivate Biden to seek his own second term, despite already being the oldest person in the job ever and turning 80 this month.
Biden used a visit to a community college in New Mexico to tout his administration’s bid to ease crushing student debt and other policies that have “delivered enormous progress for the nation.”
Over three days, he is flying on to California, Chicago and finally Pennsylvania, where popular former president Barack Obama—for whom he served as vice president for eight years—will join him at a rally Saturday.
Biden’s big final push comes on the heels of a speech Wednesday warning that Trump and the increasingly dominant far-right wing of the Republican Party are threatening the survival of US democracy with conspiracy theories aimed at undermining confidence in election results.
Biden passionately argues that refusals by Republicans to accept election defeats—starting with Trump’s unprecedented attempt to overturn the 2020 election—imperils the nation’s democratic survival.
In New Mexico Wednesday, Biden linked a brutal home invasion and attack on the husband of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the political violence unleashed by Trump supporters against Congress on January 6, 2021.
Republicans, he said, have “emboldened violence and intimidation of voters and election officials.”
“That is the path to chaos in America,” he said.