Former President Barack Obama released a statement Thursday marking the anniversary of the January 6 protest, lamenting that a “sizable portion of voters” agree with the claims that he believes fueled the protest; he also warned that “our democracy is at greater risk today than it was back then.”
“One year ago, a violent attack on our Capitol made it clear just how fragile the American experiment in democracy really is,” Obama began.
“And while the broken windows have been repaired and many of the rioters have been brought to justice, the truth is that our democracy is at greater risk today than it was back then,” he asserted.
“Although initially rejected by many Republicans, the claims that fanned the flames of violence on January 6th have since been embraced by a sizeable portion of voters and elected officials – many of whom know better,” he said, complaining about election integrity efforts taken by State legislatures:
State legislatures across the country have not only made it harder to vote, but some have tried to assert power over core election processes including the ability to certify election results. And those remaining Republican officials and thought leaders who have courageously stood their ground and rejected such anti-democratic efforts have been ostracized, primaried, and driven from the party.
Historically, Americans have been defenders of democracy and freedom around the world – especially when it’s under attack. But we can’t serve that role when leading figures in one of our two major political parties are actively undermining democracy at home. We can’t set an example when our own leaders are willing to fabricate lies and cast doubt on the results of free and fair elections.
Our system of government has never been automatic. If we want our children to grow up in a true democracy – not just one with elections, but one where every voice matters and every vote counts – we need to nurture and protect it.
“Today, that responsibility falls to all of us. And on this anniversary, nothing is more important,” Obama added:
One year ago, a violent attack on our Capitol made it clear just how fragile the American experiment in democracy really is. Here’s my statement on what the anniversary means, and what we need to do today. pic.twitter.com/9rjbjPLwLH
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 6, 2022
Despite claiming he did not want his speech to turn “into a contemporary political battle between me and the president,” Biden referred to former President Donald Trump several times throughout the speech, knocking the “former president.”
Trump, in turn, released a statement, blasting Biden for using his name to “further divide America” and distract from his many failures.