Barack Obama: ‘Our Democracy Is at Greater Risk Today than It Was’ on January 6

Former President Barack Obama speaks in support of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Bid
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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.

Pro-Trump supporters storm the US Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Samuel Corum/Getty Images

“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:

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.”

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: U.S. President-elect Donald Trump (2nd L) and his son Eric Trump greet (L-R) President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) as they arrive for Trump's inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trump, in turn, released a statement, blasting Biden for using his name to “further divide America” and distract from his many failures.


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