President Joe Biden delivered a fresh warning about the stakes of the 2024 election, saying Democrats must rally to defeat Donald Trump or risk losing democracy.
“Every head of state I’ve come in contact with has said ‘you’ve got to win, you’ve got to win.’ It’s less about me, unfortunately, I think than about the other guy,” Biden told donors at a campaign fundraiser in Bethesda, Maryland, on Tuesday. Reporters were permitted to attend for part of the event.
“If we lose, we lose everything,” he added.
The Biden campaign has increasingly focused on Trump as the likely, if not certain, Republican nominee as it braces for a rematch of 2020. The president has said repeatedly that the country’s democratic system is at stake, even as polls show he and Trump in a close match-up as Biden’s approval ratings sag.
Biden’s comments came moments before the release of a Colorado Supreme Court decision that disqualified Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot in 2024 because of his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol. Trump’s campaign immediately responded that they would appeal the decision at the US Supreme Court.
Biden likened some of Trump’s rhetoric to that of Nazi Germany, telling donors about Trump’s comment about undocumented immigrants “poisoning the blood” of the country, and said the former president used government “for revenge and retribution against his enemies.”
If Democrats prevail in 2024 they can say they saved American democracy, he said.
“The alternative is stark,” Biden said, separately adding: “We can’t let this happen. Or God knows where he’ll take us.”
Biden also told donors that Trump was “embracing his old pal” when he quoted Russian leader Vladimir Putin on the campaign trail this past weekend. Trump said his multiple indictments and legal woes show “the rottenness of the American political system,” echoing comments from Putin in September.
“It’s no surprise. After all, there’s a lot of agreement between Moscow and Mar-a-Lago,” Biden said, referring to Trump’s Florida estate.
Biden’s White House has grumbled over coverage of polls and complained that ones showing him losing get disproportionate news coverage, which Biden echoed Tuesday, shrugging off those showing him trailing Trump.
“All the talk about polls and all the like. Well, you know, there’s an awful lot of polls,” he said. Eight recent polls show Biden winning by between 2 and 6 percentage points, he told donors.
A Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll published last week showed that Trump is leading Biden by 5 percentage points among registered voters in a head-to-head matchup across seven swing states.