Joe Biden will deliver a primetime address in Philadelphia on Thursday on the “continued battle for the soul of the nation,” just as the midterm elections enter their fall phase.
The White House announced the address on Monday afternoon, shortly after NBC News reported on the plans. The broadcast networks have yet to say whether they will pre-empt programming for the speech.
The event, to be held at Independence National Historic Park, will take place just as midterm campaigns are gearing up for the final post-Labor Day stretch. Broadcast networks have in the past been more reluctant to pre-empt primetime for overtly political speeches, save for conventions and other major events, but the White House has not indicated whether this will be a campaign event or part of Biden’s official duties.
According to NBC News, Biden “will highlight what he sees as progress over the past two years to protect our democracy, but note that rights and freedoms remain at risk.”
A White House official told the network that he “will make clear who is fighting for those rights, fighting for those freedoms, and fighting for our democracy.”
Biden is increasing his travel schedule as he sells his administration’s accomplishments in recent months, including the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act and, last week, plans to erase $10,000 in student debt from borrowers who make up to $125,000.
The speech, tied to Biden’s 2020 election theme, will take place as Democrats have a bit more optimism about their midterm prospects. Where signs earlier in the summer pointed to a wipeout, prognosticators have started to revise their predictions, pointing to more modest Republican gains in the House and much better chances for Democrats to retain control of the Senate.
Last week, in a midterm campaign speech in Maryland that signaled his midterm themes, Biden took aim at “MAGA Republicans” said that they “don’t just threaten our personal rights and economic security, they’re a threat to our very democracy.”
The White House has been touting job gains and a slowing in the rate of inflation, but the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade has helped drive up engagement among voters upset over the prospect of state or national abortion bans.
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