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Biden gives 'closing message' for midterms in Democratic National Committee speech

President Biden on Monday shared what he dubbed his “closing argument” for Democrats ahead of the midterms, contrasting Democratic and Republican policies to frame next month’s election as a stark choice that would shape the country’s future for decades.

“I’m here to deliver what I believe is a closing argument about what we need to do in the next 15 days to make a victory assured and make it clear that this election is … not a referendum, it’s a choice,” Biden said in remarks to a group of Democratic National Committee (DNC) volunteers, staffers and donors. “Everybody wants to make it a referendum, but it’s a choice between two vastly different visions for America.”

Biden used his speech to an enthusiastic group of supporters to lay out a laundry list of what Democrats have accomplished in the last 18 months and compared it to proposals from some Republicans should they retake control of Congress.

The president touted passage of legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs and health care premiums that did not garner a single Republican vote. He also vowed Democrats would protect reproductive rights, the right to privacy and the right to vote, though Democrats have been unable to codify any of those things with such a narrow Senate majority.

Additionally, Biden argued he inherited a struggling economy and a nation without a plan to combat the coronavirus pandemic and enacted a massive plan to vaccinate millions of Americans, while pushing an economic agenda that led to a sharp decline in unemployment and a boost in small-business applications.

Biden also highlighted the passage of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that he called the “most consequential infrastructure bill since Eisenhower’s interstate highway system.”

And while Biden acknowledged inflation and rising costs are a problem for many Americans, he noted the U.S. has a lower inflation rate than most other countries.

“What are they running on?” Biden asked of Republicans. “If they win, what do they say they’ll do? Well I have to hand it to them, they’re saying it out loud. They’re so confident they’re going to win they’re saying it without an ounce of shame.”

Biden noted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and others have said they will push to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act, a bill passed in August that lowered prescription drug prices and included billions in funding for programs to combat climate change.

He also targeted pledges from Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and other Republicans to reassess Social Security and Medicare spending on a regular basis and pledged he would reject any plan to cut those benefits.

Meanwhile, the president argued Republicans majorities would vote to ban abortion nationally, though such a measure would be vetoed.

And Biden pointed to GOP efforts to block his administration’s plan to forgive student loan debt for millions of Americans as evidence they are out of touch and unwilling to help working-class people.

“That’s mega-MAGA trickle-down politics in the extreme,” Biden said, referring to “Make America Great Again” Republicans who align with former President Trump. “I’ll never apologize for helping middle class and middle-class folks and Americans as they recover from the pandemic.”

Democrats currently hold a tie-breaker in the Senate, which is divided 50-50, and they hold a six-seat majority in the House. Historically, the president’s party loses seats in the midterm elections, and polling in recent days has suggested Republicans are well-positioned to regain the majority in the House.

“The only Democrats willing to welcome Joe Biden at this point are paid DNC employees who work in Washington, DC,” Republican National Committee spokeswoman Emma Vaughn said in a statement. “Meanwhile, down-ballot Democrats across the country are desperate to hide their Biden voting records. Voters know Democrat control of Washington delivered higher prices, more crime, and a nation headed in the wrong direction.” 

Biden and others have repeatedly framed the 2022 midterms as a possible consequential turning point in the nation’s history, with dozens of GOP candidates on the ballot who reject the 2020 election results. 

The president on Monday noted Democrats made history in 2020 with record turnout that lifted the party into the White House and majorities in Congress, leading to the passage of major legislation.

“If we get people out to vote, we win,” Biden said. “And you’re getting them out to vote.”

Updated at 3:32 p.m.

Source: The Hill

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