TEMPE, Ariz. — President Joe Biden remembered John McCain’s legacy in Arizona on Thursday but also used the moment to argue Donald Trump’s MAGA movement is threatening American democracy.
The President remembered late Republican Sen. John McCain, whom he was close friends with. Biden choked up at remembering McCain and his late son, Beau Biden, both died of the same cancer.
“I have come to honor the McCain Institute and Library because they are home to a proud Republican who put country first,” Biden began.
Biden then used the moment to issue blunt new warnings about ongoing threats to American democracy, calling out former President Donald Trump and his MAGA movement out by name.
“There’s something dangerous happening in America now. There’s an extremist movement that does not share the basic beliefs of our democracy: the MAGA movement,” Biden said.
“Their extreme agenda, if carried out, would fundamentally alter the institutions of American democracy as we know it,” he added.
Biden has rarely called out Trump by name, even as he indictments and charges piled up against the former president over the summer. He has been wary of appearing to intervene in the Justice Department investigation.
Despite the legal issues, Trump’s standing among Republican primary voters has remained unchanged and even has gotten bigger in some cases.
“Not every Republican -– not even the majority of Republicans –- adhere to the extremist MAGA ideology. I know because I’ve been able to work with Republicans my whole career,” Biden says. “But there is no question that today’s Republican Party is driven and intimidated by MAGA extremists.”
Biden’s remarks come a day after the second Republican debate and just over a week after he made remarks at a fundraiser that Trump is the likely GOP nominee in 2024.
“Let there be no question: Donald Trump and his MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy American democracy. And I will always defend, protect, and fight for our democracy. That’s why I running,” he said at a Broadway theater last week.
“I’m now running again. Because guess what? I think that it’s likely to be the same fellow, and it’s likely that I think I can beat him again,” he said.