Trump’s Defense to Charge That He’s Anti-Democratic? Accuse Biden of It

Former President Donald J. Trump, who has been indicted by federal prosecutors for conspiracy to defraud the United States in connection with a plot to overturn the 2020 election, repeatedly claimed to supporters in Iowa on Saturday that it was President Biden who posed a severe threat to American democracy.

While Mr. Trump shattered democratic norms throughout his presidency and has faced voter concerns that he would do so again in a second term, the former president in his speech repeatedly accused Mr. Biden of corrupting politics and waging a repressive “all-out war” on America.

”Joe Biden is not the defender of American democracy,” he said. “Joe Biden is the destroyer of American democracy.”

Mr. Trump has made similar attacks on Mr. Biden a staple of his speeches in Iowa and elsewhere. He frequently accuses the president broadly of corruption and of weaponizing the Justice Department to influence the 2024 election.

But in his second of two Iowa speeches on Saturday, held at a community college gym in Cedar Rapids, Mr. Trump sharpened that line of attack, suggesting a more concerted effort by his campaign to defend against accusations that Mr. Trump has an anti-democratic bent — by going on offense.

Polls have shown that significant percentages of voters in both parties are concerned about threats to democracy. During the midterm elections, candidates who embraced Mr. Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him were defeated, even in races in which voters did not rank “democracy” as a top concern.

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