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Biden launches 2024 campaign, targets Trump in urgent speech

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President Joe Biden initiated his 2024 campaign on Friday, delivering a crucial speech near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, warning of the threat posed to democracy by former President Donald Trump.

With polls showing a tight race, Biden framed Trump as a peril to the nation, addressing the looming risk to democracy three years after the deadly Capitol attack on January 6. Originally scheduled for Saturday, the speech was rescheduled due to an approaching winter storm.

Campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez emphasized the relevance of Biden’s 2020 message, stating that the danger Trump posed to American democracy has only intensified. Biden further aims to bolster his campaign by visiting a South Carolina church associated with a white supremacist attack in 2015.

Symbolically chosen venues for these speeches include Valley Forge, where George Washington united the colonies during the independence war. Principal deputy campaign manager Quentin Fulks highlighted the contrast, citing Washington’s precedent for the peaceful transition of power, contrasting it with Trump and Republicans’ refusal to do so.

Despite Biden’s efforts, criticism has arisen over a perceived slow start to his campaign. Challenges include economic concerns, migration issues, party divisions over foreign policy, and opposition to his Ukraine funding proposal. Biden’s decision to avoid mentioning Trump’s ongoing legal cases, aiming to avoid judicial influence, also limits his tactics.

Amid Biden’s vulnerabilities, including concerns about his age, the campaign positions the race as a direct choice between him and Trump. The portrayal of Trump as the presumptive challenger, despite the Republican nomination battle starting later, aligns with Democrats targeting Trump on issues such as abortion access and healthcare.

Biden’s first TV ad of the year emphasizes an “extremist” threat to democracy, featuring Capitol attack footage. The campaign plans to maintain focus on this narrative, underscoring the urgency of Biden’s mission.

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