Former Dem Presidential Candidate Blasts Biden For Claiming To Defend Democracy While ‘Suppressing’ Party Primary

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Andrew Yang, who ran for president in 2020 as a Democrat, criticized President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party on Saturday for perceived differences between their rhetoric and actions regarding the health of American democracy.

Yang referenced Biden’s Friday speech, in which the president suggested that former President Donald Trump and his supporters are a potential authoritarian threat to the country’s institutions, and ongoing moves by the Democratic Party apparatus to exclude potential challengers to Biden from primary ballots. At present, Biden will be the only certified candidate on the primary ballot in three states, and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., perhaps the most prominent non-Republican opponent for Biden, asserted that the Democratic primary process was “rigged” before switching to run for the presidency as an independent.

“Look I vastly prefer Biden and would never vote for Trump. But saying you’re defending democracy while suppressing a primary in your own party is ridiculous,” Yang wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Joe Biden referenced George Washington several times in his Valley Forge speech yesterday. More than anything, George Washington knew when to step aside,” he stated in a separate post. (RELATED: Joe Biden Faces Yet Another Mutiny, This Time Within His Own Campaign Staff)

Biden is poised to be the only candidate on the primary ballot in North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee, all of which had competitive Democratic primaries in 2020 featuring an array of candidates.

However, other states appear to be holding competitive primaries that include several of Biden’s challengers. Marianne Williamson and Democratic Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips have been certified in South Carolina, Michigan, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Vermont, Virginia and Georgia.

Additionally, the Democratic Party approved Biden’s plan to reshuffle the order of the primary elections in February 2023, a move which has resulted in South Carolina leapfrogging New Hampshire on the calendar. While backers of Biden’s plan maintain that the shift is intended to better represent and serve the party’s diverse voters, others have suggested that the move is a strategic ploy to boost Biden’s campaign because he is expected to perform better in South Carolina than in Iowa or New Hampshire, the states that typically kick off the primary season.

The reordering angered many officials in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and Biden will not be on the ballot in the New Hampshire primary, though he could still win it by way of a write-in campaign.

“Whether democracy is still America’s sacred cause is what the 2024 election is all about,” Biden said in his Friday speech in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, to mark the three-year anniversary of the events that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. “The choice is clear. Donald Trump’s campaign is about him, not America, not you. Donald Trump’s campaign is obsessed with the past, not the future. He’s willing to sacrifice our democracy to put himself in power. Our campaign is different.”

Absent a viable challenger, the incumbent Biden appears poised to cruise to securing the party’s nomination barring any unexpected twists, even as numerous recent polls have indicated that Americans are not confident in the economy or Biden’s mental fitness for another four years in office. Other polls have shown that Biden is losing support from voting blocs that are typically strong bastions of support for Democrats, with some projecting that he is trailing Trump in terms of support among the general public.

Thus far, Biden and his campaign have heavily relied on rhetoric painting Trump’s prospective return to the Oval Office as a threat to the country’s democratic traditions as a major selling point of his own candidacy.

“Democrats suppressing competition, suppressing voters, and suppressing debate,” Phillips, another candidate, wrote in a Tuesday post on X. “In America, coronating an unelectable candidate and disenfranchising voters enables the erosion of democracy itself.”

Neither the White House nor Biden’s campaign responded immediately to requests for comment.

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