Inside Biden’s fiery speech and his decision to confront Trump’s danger head on

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“I don’t think about the former president,” Biden said pausing for dramatic impact earlier than strolling offstage on the White House.

Without naming him, Biden referenced the “former President” 16 times in a cutting address marking the anniversary of the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

Biden, preparing to enter the second year of his presidency, his advisers says that Biden is steadfast in not allowing his predecessor to overshadow his current administration. But on the one-year anniversary of a historic day, Biden not only signed off on the fiery tone he brought to his speech marking the occasion at the Capitol, but he also helped write some of the lines himself.

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“A former President of the United States of America created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election,” Biden said.

“He did it because he values ​​power over principle, because he considers his own best interests to be more important than the best interests of his country and the best interests of America, and because his bruised ego matters. more for him than our democracy or our Constitution, “Biden said, adopting a tenor he’s rarely used – on any subject – in the 12 months after he was sworn in.

Biden discussed the speech in meetings with his team, advisers were concerned and was under the impression that it was a deeply personal moment for a president whose tenure has been clouded by lies about the electoral fraud that Trump peddled. the 2020 presidential election and the hold it continues to exercise over the Republican Party.

Biden came to the sessions – which began in late November – with different opinions on the tone he hoped to adopt during the speech, according to officials familiar with the writing of the speech. Biden, according to one of them, felt that he “absolutely had to speak that day” and made it clear that what had happened on January 6 “was not normal”.

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The speech reverted to the themes of Biden’s campaign when he repeatedly pledged to “restore the soul of the nation.” This was, he said over and over again, the main reason for returning to the political arena on a mission to defeat Trump.

The sharp approach to Trump on Thursday marked a radical departure from his stance for most of the past year, as he intentionally sought to prevent his predecessor from hijacking the first year of his administration. The speech was calibrated to respond to the historic moment, advisers said, with election lies still rife in a Republican party that remains in Trump’s grip.

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