In Georgia, Biden and Harris bash Republicans as 'totalitarian' and wanting 'Jim Crow 2.0'

"The goal of the former president and his allies is to disenfranchise anyone who votes against them," Biden said.

Updated: January 11, 2022 - 7:22pm

President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at a rally Tuesday in Georgia bashed Republicans several times throughout voting rights speeches.

Former President Donald Trump and the GOP were accused by Biden and Harris of making it more difficult for people to vote, trying to create a totalitarian state and being on the side of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Both officials mentioned the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

"Across our nation anti-voter laws could make it more difficult for as many as 55 million Americans to vote. That is one out of six people in our country," Harris said during her push to institute national election reform through the Democrat-led Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Republicans have stood against these laws, which they say will eviscerate state voter ID laws and create more election fraud.

"The proponents of these laws are not only putting in place obstacles to the ballot box, they are also working to interfere with our election to get the outcomes they want and to discredit those that they don't," Harris jabbed at the GOP over Jan. 6 and possibly over the discredited Trump-Russia scandal.

"If we stand idly by, our entire nation will pay the price for generations to come," Harris grimly said. She also voiced her support for abolishing the filibuster, which she said was not constitutionally protected. "Senate Republicans have exploited arcane rules to block these bills. And let us be clear: the Constitution of the United States gives the Congress the power to pass legislation and nowhere, nowhere does the constitution give a minority the right to unilaterally block legislation."

Biden began his speech by reflecting on Jan. 6, which he described as a moment "so stark" it "stopped time" and divides "all that came before and everything that followed." He also said Jan. 6 was a "dreadful day when a dagger was literally held at the throat of American democracy." 

While several Jan. 6 rioters have been charged with carrying knifes, such as Douglas Jensen who allegedly carried a knife with a 3-inch blade in his pocket at the time, there is no evidence to support anyone "literally" brought a dagger into the Capitol, much less held it against someone's throat.

"Democracy's future" is not certain, Biden said. "That's why we're here today: to stand against the forces in America that value power over principle, forces that attempted a coop by sowing doubt and seeking to steal the 2020 election from the people. They want chaos to reign. We want the people to rule." 

He added that the Supreme Court "weakened the Voting Rights Act" of 1964, and he accused former President Trump "and his supporters" of using "a big lie about the 2020 election to fuel torrent and torment and anti-voting laws, new laws designed to suppress your vote to subvert our elections." 

He accused Republicans of making it more difficult to vote by mail, limiting the number of ballot drop boxes, reducing the number of hours a person can vote, creating longer lines at the polls and making it illegal to give food or water to voters waiting to cast their ballots.

His claims have been disputed by conservatives. Republicans say the new Georgia law expands access while increasing election security. The Heritage Foundation stated that counties can set their own voting hours between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and under the Georgia law, voters can access self-service water at their polling place and political groups are prevented from approaching voters with snacks and drinks within 150 feet of a voting building.

Biden dubbed Republican election integrity laws "Jim Crow 2.0," referring to the segregation era when black Americans were prevented from voting.

"Jim Crow 2.0 is about two insidious things: voter suppression and election subversion. It's no longer about who gets to vote. It's about making it harder to vote. It's about who gets to count the vote and whether your vote counts at all. It's not hyperbole, this is a fact," he said.

"The goal of the former president and his allies is to disenfranchise anyone who votes against them, simple as that. The facts won't matter. Your vote won't matter. They will just decide what they want and then do it. That's the kind of power you see in totalitarian states, not in democracies," Biden asserted.

"Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bill Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis? This is the moment to decide, to defend our elections, to defend our democracy," Biden said. 

Speaking about people who had been arrested for protesting voting rights, Biden also claimed: "It seems like yesterday the first time I got arrested." Biden has claimed have been arrested on several occasions, all of which have been unsubstantiated so far.