Biden: Trump hardliners threaten to take US 'backwards'
Washington, Sep 02: US President Joe Biden on Thursday warned that America's democracy was being threatened by what he called "extremists."
During a prime-time speech at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Biden took direct aim at former President Donald Trump and his "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) supporters saying that "Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic."
Biden said, America was "in a battle for the soul of the nation."
"Equality and democracy are under assault," Biden said. "We do ourselves no favor to pretend otherwise."
Trump's MAGA followers taking the US 'backwards'
Biden cautioned that "MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards. Backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love."
Biden called for Americans across the political divide, and specifically mainstream Republicans to come out in defense of the country's democracy which he said could not be guaranteed.
"For a long time, we've reassured ourselves that American democracy is guaranteed. But it is not,'' Biden says. "We have to defend it. Protect it. Stand up for it. Each and every one of us."
Biden's toughening stance ahead of midterm elections
With the midterm elections taking place in November, Biden's speech has formed part of growing Democrat broadsides aimed at Trump-aligned Republican politicians.
Focus on hardline followers of the former president has marked an apparent shift in the current administration's strategy, when compared to Biden's first year in office, when he had appeared loathe to even mention Trump by name.
Biden was careful in his wording so as not to lump all Republicans under the same banner and made repeated reference to Trump and MAGA Republicans.