PHILADELPHIA (NewsNation) — President Joe Biden continues his campaign-like tour in Pennsylvania Thursday. The president is expected to deliver a prime-time speech billed as the “Soul of the Nation” in Philadelphia, the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence.
The president will try to draw a contrast between Republicans and Democrats, framing his party as defending fundamental American democracy and freedoms, while his opponents threaten that very democracy.
Note, a replay of the speech will be available on this page soon.
This is a very different tone and a more partisan message than when candidate Biden campaigned as a unifier. Recently the president has gone on the offensive, calling out “MAGA Republicans” and unapologetically using the term “semi-fascist” to describe the MAGA wing of the GOP — a comment he took some heat for.
A source from the White House shared this statement with NewsNation on what to expect from Biden’s speech:
“He will speak about how the core values of this nation — our standing in the world, our democracy — are at stake. He will talk about the progress we have made as a nation to protect our democracy, but how our rights and freedoms are still under attack. And he will make clear who is fighting for those rights, fighting for those freedoms, and fighting for our democracy.”
However, Biden is expected to face some counterprogramming. Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced he’ll be speaking just before Biden in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the president’s hometown.
McCarthy’s focus will be on rising crime, record-high inflation and other hardships, according to his office.
And on Saturday, former President Donald Trump will hold a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where Biden spoke earlier this week.
The president delivered remarks on his Safer America Plan earlier this week, focusing on gun safety in America.
Biden’s plan moves to ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and ghost guns; requires background checks for all gun sales with some exceptions; clears court backlogs and improves pretrial supervision of criminal cases; and invests in recruiting and training 100,000 additional police officers for community policing over the next five years.
He also forcefully defended the FBI at a time when the agency and its employees have come under increased criticism and threats of violence since executing a search warrant at Trump’s Florida residence at Mar-a-Lago earlier this month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.