Biden trolls Trump over Bible grift as he slams abortion bans that ‘rip away rights of women’

Joe Biden mocked Donald Trump for trying to sell ‘God Bless the USA’ bibles last month and slammed the former president and his 2024 rivel over his abortion record.

The 46th president laid into his predecessor, referring to years-old remarks Mr Trump had made during an interview on MSNBC when he said women who have abortions should be punished and mocking him for endorsing the line of leather-bound bibles sold by singer Lee Greenwood.

“He said there has to be punishment for women exercising their reproductive freedom … maybe it’s coming from that bible he’s trying to sell. I almost wanted to buy one just to see what the hell is in it,” Mr Biden said during a trip to Florida on Tuesday.

As Mr Trump continues to cool his heels in a New York City courtroom, Mr Biden travelled from Washington to Tampa, Florida. There, he headlined a campaign event focused on rallying women and supporters of reproductive rights just one week before the ban takes effect.

The draconian six-week ban, which was recently upheld and allowed to go into effect by Florida’s Supreme Court after being enacted under Governor Ron DeSantis, effectively prevents the procedure altogether. Most women won’t even know they are pregnant before they have gone over the limit.

Florida was previously an outlier among Republican-controlled states in the Southeastern US by having comparatively lenient abortion laws. Because of this, the state’s new legislation will make abortion inaccessible for a broad swath of Americans — unless voters approve a ballot initiative to enshrine reproductive rights into state law this November. And the president’s campaign is counting on those voters to juice turnout in his favour.

The state’s Democratic Party is rallying behind the same effort, with chair Nikki Fried calling her strategy “the three A’s: affordability, accountability and abortion”. State Democrats are seeking to not just make the argument that Democrats will protect reproductive rights, but drive home the idea that Republicans are actively rolling those rights back across the country.

Speaking to a raucous crowd in Tampa on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Biden quoted a passage from the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling about women not lacking political or electoral power and said “Maga Republicans” were “beginning to find out” just how powerful women can be as a political force.

He noted that in states “all over this country” including Ohio, Kansas, Michigan, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Virginia, voters had come out ”in record numbers to protect reproductive freedom”.

“This November, you can add Florida to that list,” he said, urging the crowd to “show up and vote already”.

“It was Donald Trump who ripped away the rights … of women in America,” he continued, adding that by voting for him, Vice President Kamala Harris and Democrats up and down the ballot this fall, those rights could be restored.

“When you do that, we’ll teach Donald Trump and extreme Maga Republicans a valuable lesson: Don’t mess with the women of America,” he said.

The 46th president laid into his predecessor, referring to years-old remarks Mr Trump had made during an interview on MSNBC when he said women who have abortions should be punished and mocking him for endorsing a line of leather-bound bibles sold by singer Lee Greenwood.

“He said there has to be punishment for women exercising their reproductive freedom … maybe it’s coming from that bible he’s trying to sell. I almost wanted to buy one just to see what the hell is in it,” he said.

President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign stop at Hillsborough Community College in Florida (Getty Images)

Mr Biden also told rallygoers that Mr Trump “should be held accountable” for the end of Roe, describing that Supreme Court ruling as the outcome of a “deal” his predecessor had made with evangelical Christian voters. He warned that the court’s Dobbs ruling could be a harbinger of the end of other rights, including the right to contraception and same-sex marriage if Mr Trump and his allies get their way.

The president’s appearance in the Sunshine State is just the latest in a series of political trips which campaign officials hope will lay out a stark contrast with Mr Trump as the likely GOP nominee stands trial for allegedly falsifying business records to cover up a scheme to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. They believe Mr Trump’s record on abortion will come back to haunt the ex-president as he runs to reclaim the White House.

Michael Tyler, the Biden campaign’s communications director, told reporters in a press conference on Monday that the bans in neighbouring states had caused abortion rates in Florida to “nearly double” in the years since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade. But now women will have to drive “for a day or longer” to get reproductive healthcare, he added.

“There’s one person to blame for this cruelty and that’s Donald Trump,” he said, adding that the twice-impeached, disgraced ex-president has refused to say how he’ll vote in the abortion referendum when he casts his ballot this November.

“Donald Trump has tried to dodge or double talk on this issue. Trump will do everything he can to ban abortion nationwide,” Mr Tyler continued, before claiming that Mr Trump always uses any power he has “to take away rights from women”.

“His track record of disrespecting women is famously consistent, spans decades, includes his personal life, his business career, and his time as an elected official. So there’s no doubt, if Trump is reelected, [that he] will use his power to take away freedoms and rights from even more women,” Mr Tyler said.

Mr Tyler also noted that Mr Trump’s “closest allies” have advocated for a strategy under which he could use executive authority to revive a centuries-old law that would effectively serve as a nationwide abortion ban.

The campaign official told reporters that the Florida referendum will provide an opening for Mr Biden’s re-election effort. If Mr Biden did bring home the Sunshine State’s electoral votes this year, it would be the first time for a Democrat since 2012, when Barack Obama carried the state — in part thanks to the presence of an abortion-related referendum on the ballot.

“With our enormous financial advantage, the Biden-Harris campaign can afford to invest in many paths to victory and that includes Florida,” Mr Tyler said.

Florida Democrats told The Independent on Tuesday that it was their party’s energy and momentum which served as the encouragement to draw the president into the fight.

We’re “on the front lines, and he wants to be a part of it,” state party chair Nikki Fried said in an interview. “Democrats were already energized before he came here. and that’s why he came here. Because we have been putting in the work, because we are seeing the pendulum swing.”

She noted that Mr Biden was seeking to win a “broad coalition” around the issue of reproductive rights as the party seeks to turn out not just Democrats but independents and centrist Republicans in opposition to the ban.

“He is using the words that really transcend party politics…it really shows moreso that he understands the nuance of the issue,” Ms Fried said of the president. “The Florida Democratic Party has a multi-prong approach and wants to make sure that we are doing everything here in Florida to protect democracy and freedom. And part of that is making sure that we are sending [Joe Biden] back to DC, but also…an early retirement for Rick Scott [and] writing reproductive health care back into our Florida constitution.”

The president’s appearance in the state — which has effectively served as a home for Mr Trump’s administration-in-exile — is part of a strategy his campaign is executing which hopes to capitalise on the popularity of reproductive rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe two years ago.

As the Democratic standard-bearer touched down in Florida, he was followed to his campaign event by one of the nation’s most determined and stubborn opponents of abortion rights — Students for Life Action, a youth-centred conservative group which supports Florida’s six-week ban.

The group has tailed Mr Biden and his campaign to a number of events and argues that the Biden campaign is recentering its messaging around the issue out of desperation. Eager to distinguish between the campaign’s stated goal of championing reproductive rights and the hush-hush around the venue location for Tuesday’s event (and other similar ones), the group has dubbed the Biden campaign’s abortion rights drive as his “Where’s Waldo Tour”.

“The Biden administration…has an economic and political reason to want to see more preborn life ended,” the group’s vice president for media and policy, Kristi Hamrick, told The Independent on Tuesday.

Members of Students for Life Action protest Joe Biden’s campaign stop in Florida on Tuesday. The group is opposed to abortion and supports the state’s six-week ban. (Students for Life Action)

Pointing to the president’s flagging poll numbers around issues such as border security and the economy, she continued: “I think the Biden administration is gambling that loss of life from abortion can overcome their losses in other political spheres.”

Meanwhile, in a memorandum shared with The Independent, Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez writes that American voters “have continued to reject Trump’s attacks on reproductive freedom, especially in competitive races and in our battleground states” since that SCOTUS decision.

She also pointed out that abortion rights have become a top-tier issue in “every single battleground” state, including multiple states where reproductive freedom is literally being put on the ballot in referenda and ballot initiatives.

“He’s dedicated to protecting Americans’ freedoms. So tomorrow, we’ll be speaking to one of these most fundamental rights: reproductive freedom, from contraception and abortion to IVF,” Mr Tyler said on Monday. He promised that if Mr Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are re-elected in November, and Democrats take a majority in the House and the Senate, then “together we can finally restore the protections of Roe even in states without abortion referendums on the ballot this November.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button