Biden needs to clarify anti-Trump comments and define a united vision for all Americans – Fox News


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National correspondent Bryan Llenas has the latest from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where President Biden delivered a speech on Tuesday on ‘Your World.’
At his 2019 campaign kickoff in Philadelphia, Joe Biden promised that he would fight to “restore the soul of America.” I was there and I remember being struck specifically by those words.  
On September 1, the 46th president of the United States will return to the City of Brotherly Love to deliver a primetime address to the nation on the very themes he outlined in his campaign announcement: unity, democracy, and restoring the soul of America. For a nation on the edge of a precipice — where division and disunity seem to have replaced our national motto of E Pluribus Unum — this speech will allow him to lay out his vision once again of being a president for all of us.  
In these times, we desperately need to be reminded of what brings us together as Americans. Now I’m not pollyannaish about where we stand as a nation divided, especially less than 70 days from the midterm elections, but I do believe the president has a real opportunity to play to our “better angels,” and it starts with addressing the comments he made last Thursday when he referred to former president Donald Trump and his “extreme MAGA philosophy” as semi-fascism.  
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There’s no question that what Trump did in the weeks leading up to January 6 and in the nearly two years since smacks of not just unconstitutional but anti-democratic extremism. In his unsuccessful efforts to cling to power following the 2020 election, and his continued delegitimization of the very notion of American democracy, Trump has shaken the very foundation of our republic.  
Elections are about contrasting visions for America and fighting like hell for your beliefs and values. It is that very competition of ideals in a free society that has made American democracy, however messy at times, the envy of the world. It is essential that Democrats and Republicans do not get lost in that fight. Trump likely did not win Democratic votes when he called us socialists and communists in 2020. Similarly, President Joe Biden likely didn’t add many Republicans to our column when he called the MAGA movement semi-fascist.  
With that in mind, Biden can use Thursday’s address to clarify his comments and center his criticism directly on his predecessor and the hundreds of enablers of Trump’s election falsehoods who currently hold elected offices. In the same breath the president uses to condemn these anti-democratic leaders, he must also make it clear that most Americans who backed Trump in 2016 and in 2020 are not fascists, semi- or otherwise. Most of the people who supported Trump, both now and then, are patriotic Americans who just believe quite differently than I do.  
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Biden won the Democratic primary and defeated Trump because of his character and commitment to reaffirming our nation’s founding ideals. In the U.S. Senate and later as vice president, he befriended some of the most ardent conservatives. He even eulogized a handful of them at their funerals; not because he endorsed their political beliefs, but because he took the time to know their hearts.  
Since taking office, the president has secured some incredible bipartisan legislative wins on infrastructure, gun control, veterans, and global competitiveness — the latter bills securing passage in just the past few months. As Biden said many times on the campaign trail: the words of a president matter, but the actions of a president and the ability to deliver wins for the American people matter more.  
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On Thursday night, Biden can once again call on the better angels of our nature, even though our partisan passions may have strained our affections. This must start with calling out the anti-democratic words and deeds of our fellow countrymen and women, but not by painting either side with one broad brush. America is still that “shining city on the hill” as President Ronald Reagan described us. We just need to be reminded of that in Philadelphia — the perfect backdrop for that message.  
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Kevin Walling is a Democratic campaign strategist, former Biden 2020 campaign surrogate, vice president at HGCreative. Follow him on Twitter @KevinPWalling
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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2022 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Factset. Powered and implemented by FactSet Digital Solutions. Legal Statement. Mutual Fund and ETF data provided by Refinitiv Lipper.

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