Biden Plans Democracy-Focused Speech After Next GOP Debate

President Joe Biden is planning to deliver a major speech in Arizona later this month on what his campaign says are ongoing threats to democracy, with the address scheduled the day after the next Republican presidential primary debate.

One location for the speech that has been under discussion is the McCain Institute, according to a person familiar with the planning. The institute, which is devoted to “fighting for democracy,” is named for Sen. John McCain, a Republican who served for more than 20 years in the Senate with Biden and who sparred repeatedly with former President Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s front-runner in 2024.

Biden has made the perils facing American democracy a central theme of his 2020 campaign and also his 2024 reelection bid. He also made the case before the 2022 midterms that Trump and his allies posed a threat to the “soul of the nation.”

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Anita Dunn, a top White House adviser, told Democratic donors about the upcoming speech Wednesday in Chicago, the site of the party’s 2024 convention, according to people familiar with her remarks. The speech is planned for Sept. 28, the day after the debate, which will be held at the Reagan Library in California.

The White House and Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee invited major contributors to a preview of the party’s convention this week in Chicago. The Biden Victory Fund, which includes the Biden campaign, the national party and all state parties, can collect contributions as large as $929,600 from big donors.

Biden was close to McCain, who died in 2018, and during his recent trip to Hanoi in Vietnam he visited a memorial there for the late senator, who was held captive as a prisoner of war. “I miss him; I miss him,” Biden said.

The speech would underscore previous efforts by Biden to focus attention on the cause of democracy. He delivered a speech in Philadelphia last September that attempted to frame the midterm elections as a “battle for the soul of this nation,” an echo of his 2020 campaign slogan and another speech in Washington days before the midterm elections.

Biden also briefly pushed for a package of federal voting rights laws in January before dropping the issue after it became clear there was not support among Senate Democrats to change the chamber’s rules to advance the legislation.

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