Biden’s campaign video stresses ‘personal freedom’, attacks ‘extremists’

By Andrea Shalal and Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden’s campaign launch video promises to protect Americans’ personal freedoms, seizing a theme often heralded by Republicans, while attacking “MAGA extremists” for targeting women’s reproductive choice, Social Security and voting rights.

The video, released on Tuesday, begins with images of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump, and draws stark contrasts between Democratic President Biden’s vision for America and that of his Republican predecessor.

“Freedom – personal freedom – is fundamental to who we are as Americans,” Biden says in the three-minute video that kicks off his 2024 bid for a second term in the White House, exactly four years after he launched his 2020 campaign.

It features images of Biden, first lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris visiting American workplaces and union halls, along with key events of the first two years of Biden’s presidency, including the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman to serve in the Supreme Court.

“This is a not a time to be complacent,” Biden says in the video, which includes images of Trump, his likely opponent in 2024, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, another possible contender, and Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, one of Trump’s biggest “Make America Great Again” or MAGA backers.

“Around the country, MAGA extremists are lining up to take on those bedrock freedoms, cutting Social Security that you paid for your entire life, while cutting taxes for the very wealthy, dictating what health care decisions women can make, banning books, and tell people who they can love, all while making it more difficult for you to be able to vote.”

While Biden does not mention the word “abortion,” it is scrawled on a demonstrator’s sign in the fourth second of the video. There is no mention of gun violence or climate change, but many scenes of Americans of all backgrounds and ages, in union halls, schools and community centers, on farms and in cities.

“The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom, more rights or fewer,” Biden says. “I know America and I know we are good and decent people. I know we are still a country that believes in honesty and respect, and treating each other with dignity.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Heather Timmons, Robert Birsel)