President Joe Biden unleashed an all-out rhetorical assault on Tuesday against his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, that was heartbreaking in its varied implications.
While speaking to Democratic donors, Biden railed against the supposed "threat to democracy" posed by Trump's potential re-election and asserted, "If Trump wasn’t running I’m not sure I’d be running," according to the Associated Press.
That comment in particular calls into question the current president's commitment and capability to run for and serve a second term in the White House while his speech more broadly exposed the dark and dystopian vision of America the ideological left holds if the former president can return to power.
Tuesday afternoon, during a campaign reception at a private residence in Weston, Massachusetts, President Biden delivered remarks to donors and supporters that began with a discussion of the situation in Israel followed by a typical touting of his claimed achievements in office thus far.
About halfway through his prepared remarks, however, Biden's speech took a distinctly dark turn as he began to talk about the perceived risks and threats to American democracy if his predecessor is re-elected as president in 2024.
"But let’s be clear about the side -- what’s at stake in 2024: Donald Trump and his MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy American democracy," Biden said at one point. "And that, again, is not hyperbole. That’s a fact. The former president makes no bones about it. Don’t take my word for it. Just listen to what he has to say."
Biden proceeded to share out-of-context quotes from Trump that seemingly supported his argument that Trump and his supporters -- including voters and members of Congress -- pose a particular and dangerous threat to the future of the United States.
The president briefly struck an optimistic tone regarding the future -- only if he wins, of course -- and in closing said, "Folks, this is a big deal, this election. We’ve got to get it done -- not because of me, and I mean that."
"If Trump wasn’t running, I’m not sure I’d be running. But we cannot let him win, for the sake of the country," Biden added.
President Biden's closing remark about only running for re-election because former President Trump was also running could be interpreted in a variety of ways, including that Biden, like so many others on the left, darkly views Trump as posing some sort of unique and anti-democratic threat to the nation that has never before been seen or dealt with.
However, it could also be a subtle admission of his acceptance of the majority view that he is too old and increasingly incapable of effectively presiding over the country, which begs the question of whether he truly is committed to running for and serving another term or feels forced -- either by Trump or his own inner circle -- to mount a campaign he doesn't actually want to participate in.
Perhaps more cynically, the entire line of attack against Trump could merely be a display of the Biden campaign's response to analysis and polls that show the incumbent trailing his likely challenger overall and on certain topics that are highly important to voters, such as the economy.
Indeed, it was just days earlier on Saturday, according to The Hill, that former President Trump launched a similar line of attack and told supporters at a campaign event in Iowa of President Biden, "He’s been weaponizing government against his political opponents like a Third World political tyrant," and that "Biden and his radical left allies like to pose as standing up as allies of democracy."
Trump added, "Joe Biden is not the defender of American democracy. Joe Biden is the destroyer of American democracy. It’s him and his people. They’re the wreckers of the American dream. The American dream is dead with them in office."