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Biden warns ‘we lose everything’ if Trump wins in 2024

MARYLAND – US 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,” Mr Biden told donors at a campaign fund-raiser in Bethesda, Maryland, on Dec 19. Reporters were permitted to attend 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 itself for a rematch of 2020. The President has repeatedly said the country’s democratic system is at stake, even as polls show he and Trump are in a close match-up as Mr Biden’s approval ratings sag.

Mr Biden spoke 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 team immediately responded that they would appeal against the decision at the Supreme Court.

Mr 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 the government “for revenge and retribution against his enemies”.

If Democrats prevail in 2024, they can say they saved American democracy, Mr Biden said. 

“The alternative is stark,” he said, separately adding: “We can’t let this happen. Or God knows where he’ll take us.”

Mr 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 Mr Putin in September.

“It’s no surprise. After all, there’s a lot of agreement between Moscow and Mar-a-Lago,” Mr Biden said, referring to Trump’s Florida estate.

Trump hours later praised Hungary’s Putin-friendly leader Viktor Orban as a “tough guy” and said the Prime Minister wants to see him return to power in the US.

“He said ‘when Trump was there, these leaders, China, Russia, all of them – they were afraid of the United States. They feared the United States, they respected him.’ And I thought it was a nice statement. So I repeat it as often as I can,” Trump said at an Iowa rally.

Mr Biden’s White House has grumbled over coverage of polls and complained that those showing him losing get disproportionate news coverage, which he echoed on Dec 19, 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,” said Mr Biden. Eight recent polls show him 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 Mr Biden by 5 percentage points among registered voters in a head-to-head match-up across seven swing states. BLOOMBERG

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