Hecklers interrupt Biden's campaign speech at South Carolina church

 January 9, 2024

Joe Biden was heckled by protesters during a campaign speech in South Carolina on Monday.

Protesters demanding a cease-fire in Gaza interrupted Biden's talk at a Methodist church in Charleston where black parishioners were gunned down in 2015 by a white supremacist.

The speech was Biden's attempt to link Donald Trump and his millions of supporters with violent extremists.

Biden heckled

Biden attempted to infuse his familiar campaign rantings about "democracy" with a religious sensibility during Monday's sermon at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, where he was briefly interrupted while quoting the Gospel of John.

"We shall know the truth, and the truth shall set us free," Biden said. "But the truth — the truth is under assault in America."

A crowd of hecklers interjected and accused Biden of ignoring the suffering in Palestine, where thousands have died in Israel's military response to the October 7 attack by Hamas. The crowd chanted "four more years" as the protesters were escorted out.

Briefly addressing the hecklers, Biden said he is pushing Israel to "get out of Gaza."

"Look, folks, I understand their — I understand their passion. And I’ve been quietly working — I’ve been quietly working with the Israeli government to get them to reduce and significantly get out of Gaza. I’ve been using all that I can to do that."

Biden's coalition cracks...

The war in Israel has put pressure on Biden's fractious electoral coalition, with young college progressives blasting Biden for his refusal to cut support for Israel's "genocide" in Gaza.

Biden was joined by South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn (D) - who gave Biden a critical endorsement in 2020 - during Monday's speech in Charleston, which saw Biden attempt to shore up critical black support with divisive rhetoric.

Biden - who once told a crowd of black voters that Republicans want to "put ya'll back in chains" - returned to his old playbook as he tied Trump and "MAGA Republicans" to the Confederacy and repeated a favorite falsehood about being part of the Civil Rights struggle.

"I’ve spent more time in the Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Delaware, than I have — than most people I know, Black or white, have spent in that church. Because that’s where I started — no, I’m serious. It started with the Civil Rights Movement," he said.

Days before his South Carolina speech, Biden had attacked Trump and his supporters as a threat to "democracy" using George Washington's winter encampment, Valley Forge, as a backdrop.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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