WASHINGTON ― President Joe Biden on Tuesday is expected to deliver his most forceful statements to date about Republican efforts to restrict voting rights across the country, pointing out that they are based on predecessor Donald Trump’s “big lie” about the November 2020 election that directly led to his supporters’ violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
The remarks are expected to come Tuesday afternoon in Philadelphia ― a city that Trump and his allies claim produced large numbers of illegal votes for Biden to seal his Electoral College win.
Biden has been under pressure from Democrats and voting rights advocates to push harder for a sweeping voting rights and election reform measure that has passed the House but cannot clear the Senate unless Democrats there eliminate the 60-vote threshold for legislation.
The Democratic president has consistently said he does not support the elimination of the filibuster process.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday previewed the remarks as laying out a “moral case” for opposing voter suppression and describing GOP efforts to do so as “authoritarian and anti-American.”
“The greatest irony of the ‘big lie’ is that no election in our history has met such a high standard, with over 80 judges, including those appointed by his predecessor, throwing out all challenges,” she said.
Trump and his supporters continue to lie about the 2020 election, claiming that millions of illegal votes were cast in a handful of key states and that Trump actually won. Some of his most fervent supports, including pillow maker Mike Lindell, believe that the U.S. Supreme Court will consider their “evidence” next month and “reinstate” Trump to the presidency ― an absurd belief that has no basis in law.
Trump nevertheless egged this on in an email statement last month: “Hard to believe I got 75 million votes (the most of any sitting President) despite all of that, together with a very Fraudulent Election. 2024 or before!”
Republicans in state legislatures, even those who do not believe the election was “stolen” last year, have used Trump supporters’ lack of confidence in the voting process caused by Trump’s claims as justification for new restrictions.
Trump spent weeks attacking the legitimacy of the Nov. 3 election after he had lost, starting his lies in the predawn hours of Nov. 4 with claims that he had really won in a “landslide” and that it was being “stolen” from him. Those falsehoods continued through a long string of failed lawsuits challenging the results in a handful of states. After the Electoral College finally voted on Dec. 14, making Biden’s win official, Trump began urging his followers to come to Washington on Jan. 6 to intimidate his own vice president and members of Congress into overturning the election results and installing Trump as president for another term anyway. The mob he incited attempted to do just that as it stormed the Capitol. His supporters even chanted “Hang Mike Pence” after Pence refused to comply with Trump’s demands.
A police officer died after being assaulted during the insurrection, and two others took their own lives soon afterward. One of the insurrectionists was fatally shot, and three others in the crowd died during the melee.
Trump has not backed away from the election falsehoods despite a record second impeachment for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection.
On Monday ― with zero evidence ― Trump accused Virginia of having untrustworthy elections and advised the GOP candidate running for governor there to watch the “vote counters” this fall.
Trump lost Virginia, 44% to 50%, to Hillary Clinton in 2016, and 44% to 54% to Biden in 2020.