Biden calls Capitol riots ‘coup’ in forked speech promoting filibuster reform

President Biden on Tuesday branded the Capitol riot as a “coup” attempt and called on the Senate to lift its usual 60-vote threshold to pass a few election reform proposals – but his message was clouded by distracting fork.

Biden’s sharpened attacks on former President Donald Trump and his supporters were put in parentheses by Biden once again referring to Vice President Kamala Harris as “President Harris” and by his claim that he was arrested several times while fighting for civil rights.

“We are here today to stand up to the forces in America that value power over the principle – forces that attempted a coup, a coup against the legally expressed will of the American people by sowing doubt, inventing allegations of fraud and attempting to steal. 2020 elections from the people, “Biden said at a joint meeting in Atlanta for historic black colleges.

“They want chaos to rule. We want the people to rule,” the president said, adding: “The battle for America’s soul is not over. We must stand strong and stand together to ensure that January 6 does not mark the end. on democracy, but the beginning of a renaissance of our democracy. ”

Biden calls Capitol riots ‘coup’ in forked speech promoting filibuster reform
President Joe Biden speaks in support of changing Senate filibuster rules that have halted voting rights legislation.
AP / Patrick Semansky
Insurgents loyal to President Donald Trump are making riots outside the Capitol in Washington.
Biden raised his eyebrows during a speech in Atlanta and called the riots on January 6 a “coup.”
AP / John Minchillo

It is unclear whether Biden has ever used the term “coup” before to describe the riot that disrupted the certification of his victory in the Electoral College. He did not use the word last week in his speech on the one-year anniversary of the deadly riot.

The term is generally used by the US government to describe unrest in foreign countries – and Biden used the word in the service for a push to adopt federal election reforms that would override the recent election law changes in Republican-led states that Biden linked to riots and Trump allegations on widespread voter fraud.

“The defeated former president and his supporters are using the big lie about the 2020 election to boost currents and torment and anti-voting laws,” he said.

The halted federal election proposals are not expected to be passed because centrist Senate Democrats refuse to lower the threshold to begin and end the debate on most of the legislation from 60 votes to 50 votes. But the issue is a basic issue, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) intends to bring the matter to a vote by Martin Luther King Jr. Day next week.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are leaving after speaking to a crowd at the Atlanta University Center Consortium.
Biden reportedly called Vice President Harris “President Harris” again during a speech in Atlanta.
Getty Images / Megan Varner

Biden said federal legislation was needed to ensure people could continue to vote by mail, which was expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Voting by mail is a safe and convenient way to get more people to vote. So they make it harder for you to vote by mail, ”said Biden.

In sharp terms, he called on Senate centrists to choose sides between racist historians and crusaders for civil rights.

“I ask all elected officials in America. How do you want to be remembered?” said Biden.

“Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace?” he continued. “Do you want to be the place for Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis? This is the time to decide.”

House Republicans were quick to respond, tweeting a 1987 article in which Biden recounted praise he had received from segregationist Wallace while a young senator.

Democrats have tackled the issue of suffrage in the midst of a series of political setbacks that have caused Biden’s polls to plummet, including the highest inflation at 39 years and record number of new COVID-19 infections almost two years inside the pandemic.

But Biden stepped on his own message with the apparent gaffs.

“I did not walk in generations of students’ shoes walking on these grounds, but I walked on other grounds. For I am so damn old that I was there too,” the 79-year-old president said. I’m kidding, man. It looks like yesterday, the first time I was arrested. ”

Whjte House spokesmen did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for information on Biden’s alleged arrests. His autobiography “Promises to Keep” from 2007 describes no such arrests.

In 2020, Biden infamously claimed that he “had the great honor of being arrested” in South Africa when he “tried to see [Nelson Mandela] on Robben Island, ”where Mandela was imprisoned until 1990. He said Mandela thanked him for it. He later admitted that was untrue and it “I was not arrested, I was stopped. I was not able to move where I wanted to go.”

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris introduces U.S. President Joe Biden to give a speech on voting rights on the campuses of Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College in Atlanta.
Vice President Harris introduces Biden on the campuses of Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College, Atlanta.
ERIK S LESSER / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

Biden began his very hyped speech by calling Harris “president” – and repeated a mistake he made at least three times before.

“Last week, President Harris and I stood in the Capitol of the United States to observe one of those before-and-after moments in American history: the uprising of January 6 against the citadel of our democracy,” he said. “Today we come to Atlanta, the cradle of civil rights, to make clear what is to happen after the terrible day when a dagger was literally held in the throat of American democracy.”

Critics say Biden has misrepresented state laws that Republicans claim are aimed at reducing the risk of voter fraud and phasing out COVID-19 pandemic policies that extended remote voting. The Washington Post awarded Biden “Fire Pinocchios” in April to erroneously describe the impact of a new Georgian law on voting times.

Georgia law does not change election day opening hours, but extends early voting by adding another mandatory Saturday. It confirms that counties can open early voting on two Sundays and allows counties to extend early voting beyond normal working hours. Democrats oppose regulations requiring a photo ID to get an absentee ballot, shorten the time window to vote absent, and allow state officials to take over local polling stations in response to alleged misconduct.

The federal bills tabled by Biden include the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would force certain states to obtain federal approval for amendments to electoral laws, in response to a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that reduced oversight after the civil rights era. The other, the Law on the freedom to vote, would make Election Day a public holiday, force states to allow postal voting without apology, and require most jurisdictions to allow 10 hours of early voting a day for two weeks before an election. That bill would prevent states from requiring people to show ID to get a ballot paper.

A pollster speaks to a voter before voting in a paper ballot on election day in Atlanta in 2020.
One of the bills Biden is proposing would require certain states to obtain federal approval before amending the Voting Act.
AP / Brynn Anderson

Senate Republicans led by minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Have made a compromise in which they would reduce the role of Congress in certifying the results of the Electoral College results, arguing that it would in effect eliminate the possibility of another riot with the purpose of reversing a presidential election result.

Biden’s push for federal law is likely to be slim if Senate centrists remain steadfast. Their support would be needed to lower the voting threshold to 50 votes.

A spokeswoman for Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) Said last month that Sinema “continues to support the Senate’s threshold of 60 votes to protect the country from repeated radical twists in federal policy that will cement insecurity, deepen divisions and further undermine American confidence in our government. “

Late. Joe Manchin (D-WVa.) Also supports the upper house’s threshold of 60 votes for most non-budget laws and a handful of other moderate Democrats, including Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) Do not publicly support the move Biden has pushed.


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