President Joe Biden on Thursday declared that America must overcome new tests to its democracy, delivering his clearest warnings yet about what he believes is at stake in his coming reelection campaign against the likely Republican nominee, Donald Trump.
Biden selected Arizona — a state where the former president attempted to challenge the 2020 election results and considered a major battleground again next year — as the setting for his fourth major speech on protecting democracy. It is also home to the late Sen. John McCain, who Biden has pointed to as an example of what the Republican Party used to stand for before Trump was elected.
Biden centered his speech around McCain’s legacy to make the case that preserving American institutions should not be a partisan issue. The president is fond of saying that McCain, a vocal Trump critic who died in 2018, would put patriotism before party — and he expressed concern that too many members of the senator’s Republican Party would instead pledge their loyalty to Trump over the Constitution.