Biden Warns Republicans, “Voters Are Not Going Stand for This Abuse of Power”

His plan to win his first debate with Trump: “Just tell the truth.”

Joe Biden gives a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, on September 27.Andrew Harnik/ AP Photo

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Joe Biden said Sunday that Republican senators should refuse to consider President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, until after Election Day, warning that voters are not going stand for this abuse of power. 

“Never before in our nation’s history has a Supreme Court Justice been nominated and installed while a presidential election is already underway,” Biden said in a speech in Wilmington, Delaware. “It defies every precedent and every expectation of a nation where the people are sovereign and the rule of law reigns.”

In his short remarks, the former vice president faulted Trump for nominating Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the late justice “could be laid to rest.” And while Biden made what is likely to be a fruitless appeal to Republican senators to defy a push by the president and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to confirm Barrett before Election Day, his real audience was voters, whom he urged to punish the GOP for its bid to “subvert” democracy.

Speaking shortly after Trump tweeted his hope that the Supreme Court would strike down Obamacare, Biden echoed Democrats’ preferred line of attack on Barrett, accusing the GOP of rushing to “overturn the Affordable Care Act on their way out the door.” “It doesn’t matter what the American people want,” Biden said. “President Trump sees a chance to fulfill his explicit mission to steal away the vital protections of the ACA from countless families who have come to rely on them for their health, their financial security, and the lives of those they love.”

Biden took a handful of questions from reporters, appearing confident and, in contrast to Trump, offering pointed answers. Asked about calls that Democrats should respond to the efforts to ram through Barrett’s confirmation by attempting to add more justices to the Supreme Court if they regain control of the chamber, Biden stayed on message.I’m focused on making sure the American people understand that they’re being cut out of this process they’re entitled to be a part of and the cut out is designed in order to take away the ACA and your health care in the midst of a pandemic,” he said. 

Trump and his allies regularly charge that Biden, who is 77, is senile and unable to respond coherently to questions. Trump, who is 74, has also taken to baselessly charging that Biden is using some unknown medication. On Sunday morning he tweeted that Biden should take a drug test before their first debate on Tuesday. 

Biden’s competent if unremarkable address on Sunday highlights a problem with Trump’s line of attack heading into a debate. Trump, at least among his supporters, has managed to lower the expectations for Biden so much that if Biden delivers a decent debate performance, and “does not appear weak, the tactic will have backfired,” as the New York Times noted. 

Asked Sunday what he needs to do to succeed in this week’s debate, Biden was brief. “Just tell the truth,” he said. 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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