Biden Tells Donors: 'If Trump Wasn't Running I'm Not Sure I'd Be Running. We Cannot Let Him Win'


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AP

Boston: President Joe Biden told campaign donors Tuesday that he wasn't sure he'd be running for reelection if Donald Trump wasn't also in the race, warning that democracy is "more at risk in 2024” and that the former president and his allies are out to "destroy” democratic institutions.

The president was using a trio of fundraisers to caution against what might happen should his predecessor again claim control of the White House, noting that Trump has described himself as his supporters' "retribution” and has vowed to root out "vermin” in the country.

"We've got to get it done, not because of me. ... If Trump wasn't running I'm not sure I'd be running. We cannot let him win,” Biden said, hitting the last words slowly for emphasis.

Biden's forceful rhetoric came as Trump, the current GOP front-runner, who tried to overturn the 2020 election he lost and is facing criminal charges connected to those efforts, attempted over the weekend to turn the tables by calling Biden the "destroyer of American democracy.”

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Trump on Tuesday was asked by Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity to promise he "would never abuse power as retribution against anybody.”

"Except for day one,” Trump responded. "I want to close the border and I want to drill, drill, drill.”

"After that I'm not a dictator,” Trump added.

Biden's campaign quickly seized on the comments with an email that read, "Donald Trump: Day One Dictator.” Later, Biden was asked by reporters whether he would be running if Trump wasn't and gave a slightly different comment, saying, "I expect so, but look, he is running and I have to run.”

He was asked if he would drop out if Trump did and said, "No, not now.”

Biden, who said he is not alone in sounding the alarm over Trump, noted that Trump is the "only losing candidate” in U.S. history to not accept the results. Biden also said that on Jan. 6, 2021, as Trump supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol in a failed attempt to stop the certification of the election results, Trump sat in his dining room just off the Oval Office, "watching them threaten his own vice president.”

Biden also highlighted recent warnings about Trump from former Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., calling her a "powerful voice.”

"American democracy, I give you my word as a Biden, is at stake,” the president said at the first of three campaign fundraisers in the Boston area. Drawing some laughter from donors, Biden also mused: "He didn't even show up at my inauguration. I can't say I was disappointed, but he didn't even show up.”

The warnings by Biden are increasingly part of his pitch to donors: that democracy is at stake if Trump were to win again and he must be defeated. The president is pushing to raise money for his reelection effort before the end of the year, appearing at seven events through Monday - with more to come. The events in Boston on Tuesday benefit his campaign and the broader Democratic Party.

They included an evening event in the city's theater district featuring a concert by singer-songwriter James Taylor, who helped kick off a White House event in 2022 celebrating the Inflation Reduction Act, a climate and health care bill that Biden signed into law.

Onstage, Biden joked to the packed theater audience that he wouldn't be long because he knew he was "the only thing standing” between the audience and the performance by Taylor.

"We're always going to defend protect and fight for democracy," he said. "That's why I'm running.”

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