President Biden gave the next tackle on Thursday to commemorate the anniversary of the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. Here’s a transcript of his remarks, with extra context.
Madam Vice President, my fellow People: To state the plain, one 12 months in the past at this time, on this sacred place, democracy was attacked — merely attacked. The desire of the folks was beneath assault. The Structure — our Structure — confronted the gravest of threats.
Outnumbered and within the face of a brutal assault, the Capitol Police, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Division, the Nationwide Guard and different courageous legislation enforcement officers saved the rule of legislation.
Our democracy held. We the folks endured. And we the folks prevailed.
For the primary time in our historical past, a president had not simply misplaced an election, he tried to forestall the peaceable switch of energy as a violent mob breached the Capitol.
Katie Rogers, White Home correspondent
This speech is a (rhetorical, at the least) turning level for Mr. Biden, who for a lot of his first 12 months in workplace prevented direct confrontation together with his predecessor, Donald J. Trump. However at this time, with out utilizing Mr. Trump’s title, the president accused him of inciting a mob to avoid wasting face after shedding the presidential election proper on the high of his remarks.
However they failed. They failed.
And on this present day of remembrance, we should make it possible for such an assault by no means, by no means occurs once more.
I’m talking to you at this time from Statuary Corridor in the USA Capitol. That is the place the Home of Representatives met for 50 years within the a long time main as much as the Civil Warfare. That is — on this flooring is the place a younger congressman of Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, sat at Desk 191.
It is a highly effective backdrop for Mr. Biden, who served within the Senate for 36 years. The Capitol was Mr. Biden’s office for many years. On this second, posed among the many artifacts that inform the nation’s story, he’s each president and tour information.
Above him — above us, over that door main into the Rotunda — is a sculpture depicting Clio, the muse of historical past. In her palms, an open guide during which she data the occasions going down on this chamber under.
Clio stood watch over this corridor one 12 months in the past at this time, as she has for greater than 200 years. She recorded what befell. The actual historical past. The actual details. The actual reality. The details and the reality that Vice President Harris simply shared and that you just and I and the entire world noticed with our personal eyes.
The Bible tells us that we will know the reality, and the reality shall make us free. We will know the reality.
Mr. Biden, who’s Catholic, attends Mass about as soon as every week. However he refers back to the broader teachings of the Bible extra usually than he quotes Scripture.
Properly, right here is the God’s reality about Jan. 6, 2021:
Shut your eyes. Return to that day. What do you see? Rioters rampaging, waving for the primary time inside this Capitol a Accomplice flag that symbolized the trigger to destroy America, to tear us aside.
Even in the course of the Civil Warfare, that by no means, ever occurred. But it surely occurred right here in 2021.
What else do you see? A mob breaking home windows, kicking in doorways, breaching the Capitol. American flags on poles getting used as weapons, as spears. Fireplace extinguishers being thrown on the heads of cops.
A crowd that professes their love for legislation enforcement assaulted these cops, dragged them, sprayed them, stomped on them.
Over 140 cops have been injured.
We’ve all heard the cops who have been there that day testify to what occurred. One officer referred to as it, quote, a med- — “medieval” battle, and that he was extra afraid that day than he was preventing the conflict in Iraq.
They’ve repeatedly requested since that day: How dare anybody — anybody — diminish, belittle or deny the hell they have been put by?
We noticed it with our personal eyes. Rioters menaced these halls, threatening the lifetime of the speaker of the Home, actually erecting gallows to hold the vice chairman of the USA of America.
However what did we not see?
We didn’t see a former president, who had simply rallied the mob to assault — sitting within the non-public eating room off the Oval Workplace within the White Home, watching all of it on tv and doing nothing for hours as police have been assaulted, lives in danger, and the nation’s Capitol beneath siege.
Mr. Biden’s broadside here’s a almost definitely reference to Consultant Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and the vice chairwoman of the Home choose committee investigating the occasions of Jan. 6, who mentioned this week that her committee had obtained “firsthand testimony” that Mr. Trump was certainly watching tv because the assaults unfolded.
This wasn’t a bunch of vacationers. This was an armed rebel.
They weren’t seeking to uphold the need of the folks. They have been seeking to deny the need of the folks.
They have been seeking to uphold — they weren’t seeking to uphold a free and truthful election. They have been seeking to overturn one.
They weren’t seeking to save the reason for America. They have been seeking to subvert the Structure.
This isn’t about being slowed down previously. That is about ensuring the previous isn’t buried.
Perceive the Jan. 6 Investigation
Each the Justice Division and a Home choose committee are investigating the occasions of the Capitol riot. This is the place they stand:
That’s the one manner ahead. That’s what nice nations do. They don’t bury the reality; they withstand it. Seems like hyperbole, however that’s the reality: They withstand it.
We’re an important nation.
My fellow People, in life, there’s reality and, tragically, there are lies — lies conceived and unfold for revenue and energy.
The tip of this passage right here is repurposed from Mr. Biden’s inaugural tackle.
We should be completely clear about what’s true and what’s a lie.
And right here is the reality: The previous president of the USA of America has created and unfold an internet of lies in regards to the 2020 election. He’s carried out so as a result of he values energy over precept, as a result of he sees his personal pursuits as extra essential than his nation’s pursuits and America’s pursuits, and since his bruised ego issues extra to him than our democracy or our Structure.
Mr. Biden’s remarks have set him down a extra confrontational path with Mr. Trump, who holds a agency grip over the Republican Social gathering and reveals no signal of backing down from persevering with to perpetuate lies in regards to the 2020 election. (Mr. Trump launched a wave of responses all through the day on Thursday, calling Mr. Biden’s management into query and persevering with to claim that the election was stolen from him.)
He can’t settle for he misplaced, despite the fact that that’s what 93 United States senators, his personal legal professional basic, his personal vice chairman, governors and state officers in each battleground state have all mentioned: He misplaced.
That’s what 81 million of you probably did as you voted for a brand new manner ahead.
He has carried out what no president in American historical past — the historical past of this nation — has ever, ever carried out: He refused to just accept the outcomes of an election and the need of the American folks.
Whereas some brave women and men within the Republican Social gathering are standing in opposition to it, attempting to uphold the ideas of that social gathering, too many others are reworking that social gathering into one thing else. They appear not to wish to be the social gathering — the social gathering of Lincoln, Eisenhower, Reagan, the Bushes.
However no matter my different disagreements are with Republicans who assist the rule of legislation and never the rule of a single man, I’ll all the time search to work along with them to seek out shared options the place attainable. As a result of if now we have a shared perception in democracy, then something is feasible — something.
Mr. Biden, the consummate negotiator, has now made it clear that he’s fascinated by working solely with Republicans who haven’t tied their political fortunes to the falsehoods unfold by Mr. Trump.
And so, at this second, we should resolve: What sort of nation are we going to be?
Are we going to be a nation that accepts political violence as a norm?
Are we going to be a nation the place we enable partisan election officers to overturn the legally expressed will of the folks?
Are we going to be a nation that lives not by the sunshine of the reality however within the shadow of lies?
Mr. Biden usually warns that American democracy is nearing an inflection level, however these open questions betray a level of uncertainty about the way forward for the nation.
We can not enable ourselves to be that type of nation. The way in which ahead is to acknowledge the reality and to stay by it.
The Large Lie being advised by the previous president and lots of Republicans who worry his wrath is that the rebel on this nation really befell on Election Day — Nov. 3, 2020.
Take into consideration that. Is that what you thought? Is that what you thought while you voted that day? Collaborating in an rebel? Is that what you thought you have been doing? Or did you suppose you have been finishing up your highest responsibility as a citizen and voting?
The previous president and his supporters are attempting to rewrite historical past. They need you to see Election Day because the day of rebel and the riot that befell right here on Jan. 6 because the true expression of the need of the folks.
Are you able to consider a extra twisted manner to have a look at this nation — to have a look at America? I can not.
Mr. Biden, who promised at his inauguration to be a president to all People, used this speech to castigate not solely Mr. Trump, but in addition his supporters who stormed the Capitol. Requested later if his speech did extra to divide than heal, Mr. Biden replied: “The way in which you need to heal, you need to acknowledge the extent of the wound. You’ll be able to’t faux. That is critical stuff.”
Right here’s the reality: The election of 2020 was the best demonstration of democracy within the historical past of this nation.
Extra of you voted in that election than have ever voted in all of American historical past. Over 150 million People went to the polls and voted that day in a pandemic — some at nice danger to their lives. They need to be applauded, not attacked.
Proper now, in state after state, new legal guidelines are being written — to not defend the vote, however to disclaim it; not solely to suppress the vote, however to subvert it; to not strengthen or defend our democracy, however as a result of the previous president misplaced.
As a substitute of wanting on the election outcomes from 2020 and saying they want new concepts or higher concepts to win extra votes, the previous president and his supporters have determined the one manner for them to win is to suppress your vote and subvert our elections.
It’s flawed. It’s undemocratic. And albeit, it’s un-American.
These remarks almost definitely preface a Democratic-led push to pressure two voting rights payments by the Senate within the coming weeks. Republicans, together with Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority chief, instantly pounced when plans have been introduced this week, and have criticized Democrats for tying voting rights to the Jan. 6 anniversary. Mr. Biden will ship remarks on voting rights in Atlanta subsequent week.
The second Large Lie being advised by the previous president and his supporters is that the outcomes of the election of 2020 can’t be trusted.
The reality is that no election — no election in American historical past has been extra carefully scrutinized or extra fastidiously counted.
That’s true: Election officers and election safety consultants have reported no widespread situations of voter fraud within the 2020 election.
Each authorized problem questioning the ends in each court docket on this nation that would have been made was made and was rejected — usually rejected by Republican-appointed judges, together with judges appointed by the previous president himself, from state courts to the USA Supreme Court docket.
Recounts have been undertaken in state after state. Georgia — Georgia counted its outcomes 3 times, with one recount by hand.
Phony partisan audits have been undertaken lengthy after the election in a number of states. None modified the outcomes. And in a few of them, the irony is the margin of victory really grew barely.
So, let’s converse plainly about what occurred in 2020. Even earlier than the primary poll was forged, the previous president was preemptively sowing doubt in regards to the election outcomes. He constructed his lie over months. It wasn’t based mostly on any details. He was simply on the lookout for an excuse — a pretext — to cowl for the reality.
He’s not only a former president. He’s a defeated former president — defeated by a margin of over seven million of your votes in a full and free and truthful election.
The emphasis right here on “defeated” is little doubt aimed toward Mr. Trump’s near-compulsive penchant for calling folks losers.
There’s merely zero proof the election outcomes have been inaccurate. Actually, in each venue the place proof needed to be produced and an oath to inform the reality needed to be taken, the previous president didn’t make his case.
Simply take into consideration this: The previous president and his supporters have by no means been capable of clarify how they settle for as correct the opposite election outcomes that befell on Nov. 3 — the elections for governor, United States Senate, the Home of Representatives — elections during which they closed the hole within the Home.
They problem none of that. The president’s title was first, then we went down the road — governors, senators, Home of Representatives. In some way, these outcomes have been correct on the identical poll, however the presidential race was flawed?
And on the identical poll, the identical day, forged by the identical voters.
The one distinction: The previous president didn’t lose these races; he simply misplaced the one which was his personal.
Lastly, the third Large Lie being advised by a former president and his supporters is that the mob who sought to impose their will by violence are the nation’s true patriots.
Is that what you thought while you appeared on the mob ransacking the Capitol, destroying property, actually defecating within the hallways, rifling by desks of senators and representatives, looking down members of Congress? Patriots? Not in my opinion.
Once more, this feels like Biden the senator speaking. He has a reverence for the Capitol and the individuals who work there.
To me, the true patriots have been the greater than 150 [million] People who peacefully expressed their vote on the poll field, the election employees who protected the integrity of the vote, and the heroes who defended this Capitol.
You’ll be able to’t love your nation solely while you win.
Key Figures within the Jan. 6 Inquiry
This as about as specific as a nonexplicit critique of Trumpism may get.
You’ll be able to’t obey the legislation solely when it’s handy.
You’ll be able to’t be patriotic while you embrace and allow lies.
Those that stormed this Capitol and people who instigated and incited and people who referred to as on them to take action held a dagger on the throat of America — at American democracy.
They didn’t come right here out of patriotism or precept. They got here right here in rage — not in service of America, however moderately in service of 1 man.
Those that incited the mob — the actual plotters — who have been determined to disclaim the certification of the election and defy the need of the voters.
However their plot was foiled. Congressmen — Democrats and Republicans — stayed. Senators, representatives, employees — they completed their work the Structure demanded. They honored their oath to defend the Structure in opposition to all enemies, overseas and home.
Look, of us, now it’s as much as all of us — to we the folks — to face for the rule of legislation, to protect the flame of democracy, to maintain the promise of America alive.
That promise is in danger, focused by the forces that worth brute energy over the sanctity of democracy, worry over hope, private acquire over public good.
Mr. Biden normally reserves this type of language to explain autocratic management in faraway nations, not different People.
Make no mistake about it: We’re residing at an inflection level in historical past.
And right here is considered one of his most often-repeated phrases in terms of confronting the tenuous way forward for democracy. What makes this speech completely different is Mr. Biden asserting that Mr. Trump and his supporters are a risk on par with a few of America’s abroad adversaries.
Each at residence and overseas, we’re engaged anew in a battle between democracy and autocracy, between the aspirations of the numerous and the greed of the few, between the folks’s proper of self-determination and self- — the self-seeking autocrat.
From China to Russia and past, they’re betting that democracy’s days are numbered. They’ve really advised me democracy is simply too gradual, too slowed down by division to achieve at this time’s quickly altering, difficult world.
And so they’re betting — they’re betting America will develop into extra like them and fewer like us. They’re betting that America is a spot for the autocrat, the dictator, the strongman.
I don’t imagine that. That isn’t who we’re. That isn’t who now we have ever been. And that isn’t who we must always ever, ever be.
Our founding fathers, as imperfect as they have been, set in movement an experiment that modified the world — actually modified the world.
Right here in America, the folks would rule, energy could be transferred peacefully — by no means on the tip of a spear or the barrel of a gun.
And so they dedicated to paper an concept that couldn’t stay as much as — they couldn’t stay as much as however an concept that couldn’t be constrained: Sure, in America all persons are created equal.
We reject the view that should you succeed, I fail; should you get forward, I fall behind; if I maintain you down, I one way or the other carry myself up.
The previous president, who lies about this election, and the mob that attacked this Capitol couldn’t be additional away from the core American values.
Right here he’s once more, repudiating Trumpism and its followers in addition to the previous president himself. It is a pivot away from the pro-unity message he introduced with him to the presidency.
They wish to rule or they’ll damage — damage what our nation fought for at Lexington and Harmony; at Gettysburg; at Omaha Seashore; Seneca Falls; Selma, Ala. What — and what we have been preventing for: the best to vote, the best to manipulate ourselves, the best to find out our personal future.
And with rights come obligations: the accountability to see one another as neighbors — possibly we disagree with that neighbor, however they’re not an adversary; the accountability to just accept defeat, then get again within the enviornment and take a look at once more the following time to make your case; the accountability to see that America is an concept — an concept that requires vigilant stewardship.
As we stand right here at this time — one 12 months since Jan. 6, 2021 — the lies that drove the anger and insanity we noticed on this place, they haven’t abated.
Actually, lies are discovering new locations to bloom on-line. Social media platforms are well-established culprits for elevating and permitting communities to type round falsehoods, however podcasts have develop into more and more widespread venues for misinformation to unfold, in accordance with researchers.
So, now we have to be agency, resolute, and unyielding in our protection of the best to vote and to have that vote counted.
Some have already made the last word sacrifice on this sacred effort.
Jill and I’ve mourned cops on this Capitol Rotunda not as soon as however twice within the wake of Jan. 6: as soon as to honor Officer Brian Sicknick, who misplaced his life the day after the assault, and a second time to honor Officer Billy Evans, who misplaced his life defending this Capitol as nicely.
In August, Mr. Biden signed a invoice awarding the Congressional Gold Medal, the physique’s highest expression of nationwide appreciation, to a bunch of legislation enforcement officers who responded to the assaults. The invoice was rapidly handed amid reviews of suicides of two officers who had been on the constructing that day.
We take into consideration the others who misplaced their lives and have been injured and everybody residing with the trauma of that day — from these defending this Capitol to members of Congress in each events and their staffs, to reporters, cafeteria employees, custodial employees and their households.
Don’t child your self: The ache and scars from that day run deep.
I mentioned it many occasions, and it’s no extra true or actual than once we take into consideration the occasions of Jan. 6: We’re in a battle for the soul of America. A battle that, by the grace of God and the goodness and gracious — and greatness of this nation, we’ll win.
Consider me, I understand how troublesome democracy is. And I’m crystal clear in regards to the threats America faces. However I additionally know that our darkest days can result in mild and hope.
Mr. Biden, whose political life has been steeped in private tragedy, usually makes use of themes of lightness and darkness when he speaks about going through adversity.
From the loss of life and destruction, because the vice chairman referenced, in Pearl Harbor got here the overcome the forces of fascism.
From the brutality of Bloody Sunday on the Edmund Pettus Bridge got here historic voting rights laws.
So, now allow us to step up, write the following chapter in American historical past the place Jan. 6 marks not the top of democracy, however the starting of a renaissance of liberty and truthful play.
I didn’t search this struggle dropped at this Capitol one 12 months in the past at this time, however I can’t shrink from it both.
I’ll stand on this breach. I’ll defend this nation. And I’ll enable nobody to position a dagger on the throat of our democracy.
These are hanging phrases from a 79-year-old president, who’s now positioning himself not as a peacemaker and healer however as a warrior who will assist put the nation again on monitor. A pure query, and one the White Home has nonetheless not been capable of reply — notably as Congress stays gridlocked — is: How?
We are going to make certain the need of the folks is heard; that the poll prevails, not violence; that authority on this nation will all the time be peacefully transferred.
I imagine the facility of the presidency and the aim is to unite this nation, not divide it; to carry us up, not tear us aside; to be about us — about us, not about “me.”
Deep within the coronary heart of America burns a flame lit virtually 250 years in the past — of liberty, freedom and equality.
This isn’t a land of kings or dictators or autocrats. We’re a nation of legal guidelines; of order, not chaos; of peace, not violence.
Right here in America, the folks rule by the poll, and their will prevails.
So, allow us to bear in mind: Collectively, we’re one nation, beneath God, indivisible; that at this time, tomorrow, and ceaselessly, at our greatest, we’re the USA of America.
God bless you all. Could God defend our troops. And should God bless those that stand watch over our democracy.