Key quotes from US President Biden’s Jan. 6 democracy speech

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden had scathing criticism of his likely 2024 election opponent Donald Trump and the Republicans who follow him in a speech on Friday commemorating the third anniversary of the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attacks on the U.S. Capitol by Trump loyalists.

Here are key excerpts:


“Today we’re here to answer the most important of questions. Is democracy still America’s sacred cause? I mean it.

“This is not rhetorical, academic or hypothetical. Whether democracy is still America’s sacred cause is the most urgent question of our time. That’s what the 2024 election is all about.”

“These MAGA voices who know the truth about Trump on January 6 have abandoned the truth and abandoned democracy. They made their choice. Now the rest of us, Democrats, independents, mainstream Republicans, need to make our choice.”


“Donald Trump’s campaign is about him. Not America, not you. Donald Trump’s campaign is obsessed with the past. Not the future. He’s willing to sacrifice our democracy to put himself in power.”

“Trump is running as the denier-in-chief, the election denier-in-chief. Once again, he’s saying he won’t honor the results of the election if he loses… He still doesn’t understand the basic truth and that is you can’t love your country only when you win.”

JAN. 6

“For the first time in our history, insurrectionists had come to stop the peaceful transfer of power in America … smashing windows, shattering doors, attacking the police. Outside, gallows were erected as the MAGA crowd chanted ‘Hang Mike Pence.’ Inside, they hunted for (House) Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi.” “Over 140 police officers injured. Jill and I attended the funerals of police officers who died as a result of the events that day. Because of Donald Trump’s lies. They died because these lies brought a mob to Washington.”


“Trump’s mob wasn’t a peaceful protest, it was a violent assault. They were insurrectionists, not patriots… I’ll say what Donald Trump won’t. Physical violence is never, ever acceptable in the United States political system… It has no place in a democracy, none. You can’t be pro-insurrectionist and pro-American.”


“What’s Trump done? Instead of calling them criminals, he’s called these insurrectionists patriots … and he promised to pardon them if he returned to office. Trump said that there was a lot of love on January 6. The rest of the nation, including law enforcement, saw a lot of hate and violence.”

“He tried to rewrite the facts of January 6. Trump is trying to steal history the same way he tried to steal the election.”

(Reporting by Jeff Mason, Katharine Jackson, Eric Beech and Steve Holland, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)