Day 653: "A defining moment."
1/ Biden called the midterms “a defining moment” for democracy as the “ultra MAGA” are trying to “succeed where they failed” in subverting the 2020 elections with threats of political violence and voter intimidation. “We can’t take democracy for granted any longer,” Biden said from Union Station in Washington, steps from the U.S. Capitol where a mob attempted to interrupt the certification of the 2020 election. Biden condemned Trump and other Republicans for encouraging political violence, voter intimidation, and “the Big Lie,” calling it “unprecedented,” “unlawful,” and “un-American” to “love your country only when you win.” Biden, arguing that Trump had undercut the rule of law, said: “American democracy is under attack because the defeated former president of the United States refuses to accept the results of the 2020 election.” Biden added that Trump “refuses to accept the will of the people. He refuses to accept the fact that he lost. He has abused his power and put the loyalty to himself before loyalty to the Constitution and he’s made a Big Lie an article of faith for the MAGA Republicans, a minority of that party.” (New York Times / Washington Post / Associated Press / NBC News / CNN)
2/ Obama warned that “democracy as we know it may not survive” if Republicans win in Arizona. “That’s not an exaggeration,” Obama added. “That is a fact.” In Arizona, all but one of the 13 GOP nominees for federal or state office have denied or questioned the results of the 2020 election. If the GOP ticket were to win in Arizona, it would mean “election deniers serving as your governor, as your senator, as your secretary of state, as your attorney general.” (Washington Post)
3/ Some House Republicans have embraced plans to reduce federal spending on Social Security and Medicare if they take control of the House and Senate. The Republican leaders claim that cutting benefits are necessary to rein in government spending. Their proposals include raising the retirement age for Social Security and Medicare to 70 from 67, and increasing the premiums for health coverage. “They’re coming after your Social Security and Medicare in a big way,” Biden said, holding up a Republican plan that would also require Congress to reauthorize safety net programs every five years. “It goes out of existence if Congress doesn’t vote to keep it,” said Biden, calling the proposal “so outrageous you might not even believe it.” (New York Times / Axios / CNBC)
4/ America’s billionaires have spent a record $880 million on the 2022 midterm elections so far – most of their spending has been in favor of Republicans, three to two. Spending on state and federal races during this cycle, meanwhile, have already passed the inflation-adjusted record of $7.1 billion in 2018 and are projected to exceed $16.7 billion in total. The top 1% of donors, measured by income, have contributed about 38% of the total spent. (OpenSecrets / New York Times / CNBC / Bloomberg)
5/ The Justice Department granted immunity to a Trump aide in exchange for his grand jury testimony in the Mar-a-Lago case. Kash Patel appeared before the grand jury last month and refused to answer questions from prosecutors by repeatedly invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. A federal judge, however, granted Patel immunity from prosecution on any information he provides to the investigation and compelled him to testify. Prosecutors had argued that there was no reason that Patel would be prosecuted based on the kinds of questions they were asking. Patel’s grand jury appearance hasn’t yet been scheduled. (Wall Street Journal / New York Times / CNN / NBC News / ABC News)
poll/ 36% of Americans say inflation is the most urgent issue facing the country today – up 9 percentage points since late August. Abortion is the second most urgent issue at 10%, with no other issue reaching double digits. (Quinnipiac)
poll/ 84% of the Republican voters report a great deal of interest in the midterm elections. 68% of Democrats, meanwhile, say they’re interested in the elections. Overall, 82% of registered voters nationally say they definitely plan to vote this year. (NPR)
poll/ 53% of Republicans said they would “very likely” vote for a candidate who thought the 2020 election was stolen – which it was not. 39% of Republicans also said their preferred candidate should “definitely” concede if they were declared the loser in their race. (NPR)
poll/ 56% of Americans believe the Republican and Democratic parties do such a poor job that a third major party is needed. 61% of Americans have an unfavorable view of the Republican Party, while 57% have an unfavorable view of the Democratic Party. Overall, 27% of Americans say they have an unfavorable view of both both parties. In 1994, 6% of Americans felt that way. (CNBC)
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