- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 2, 2022

President Biden will give a speech Wednesday night calling on Americans to defend democracy, a White House official said.

The speech, set to be delivered near the U.S. Capitol less than a week before the Nov. 8 elections, will outline what Mr. Biden will characterize as the high stake for the country’s future in the House and Senate races, said White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jen O’Malley Dillon.

“You can expect to hear from him this evening, similar to what he’s been saying over the course of the last several months, that there is a lot at stake including democracy and that everyone has a role in that,” she said during an event sponsored by Axios. “The other thing that will be really important [is] people will be able to vote. … Democracy works to make sure every vote is counted.”

White House senior adviser Anita Dunn, who also spoke at the event, said the speech will take place on Capitol Hill “because on Jan. 6 we saw violence geared towards subverting the democratic process there.”

The speech that Ms. O’Malley and Ms. Dunn described would be a powerfully anti-GOP closing argument for the 2022 midterm campaigns, hoping to regain momentum for Mr. Biden’s Democrats who expect a severe drubbing at the polls next week.

The White House said Mr. Biden will participate in a “political event” with the Democratic National Committee at Union Station in Washington, which is just steps from the U.S. Capitol.

The Democratic National Committee said the speech will focus on the threat of election deniers and “those who seek to undermine faith and voting and democracy.”

In September, Mr. Biden hosted a campaign-style rally in Philadelphia where he framed the midterm elections as a battle for “America’s soul.” In that speech, he condemned threats lodged against the FBI following its raid of former President Donald Trump’s residence at his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.

He also warned that the “extreme ideology” of Mr. Trump and his allies “threatens the very foundation of our Republic” and called on Americans to counter what he said were dangerous elements within the Republican party trying to subvert democracy.

Mr. Biden’s speech Wednesday comes just days after the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, was attacked in their San Francisco home. The suspect, David DePape, had a list of other targets that included federal and state politicians and their relatives, according to police.

Mr. DePape pleaded not guilty to state charges of attempted murder, residential burglary, elder abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment of an elder and threats to a family member of a public official. He also faces federal charges of attempted kidnapping of Mrs. Pelosi and assaulting the family member of a public official.

Mr. DePape, who made hemp jewelry and was linked to nudist activists, had promoted fringe conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines, the 2020 election and the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol.

Ms. Dunn said political violence is “something that unites almost all Americans … and obviously we’ve seen horrible things happen quite recently — the Speaker’s husband.”

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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