In remarks to a Democratic National Committee fundraiser, President Joe Biden took aim at an “extreme” Republican Party shaped by Donald Trump and state-level threats to abortion rights and protections for LGBT+ Americans.
“Did you ever think we’d be in a position in the year 2022 – we’d be talking about banning books in schools?” the president said on 11 May, referring to a growing campaign from conservative activists and Republican legislators to restrict speech in schools, including “bans” on certain books in libraries.
He referenced Florida Republicans’ attempts to dismantlethe Walt Disney Company’s governing structure for its sprawling theme park campus after the company opposed what critics have called a “Don’t Say Gay” law that prohibits classroom discussion of LGBT+ people, events and issues.
“I mean, you know, the idea that you cannot mention – you cannot mention to the school. What’s going to happen to a gay child, an L[G]BTQ child in school?” he said. “I mean, this thing – it’s one thing to take on Disney World. They’re going to storm Cinderella’s castle before this is over.”
In his remarks, the president pressed the urgency of several issues – protections for civil rights, voting rights, Social Security, healthcare – as part of Democrats’ critical midterm elections platform, as Republicans prepare to win control of Congress and deadlock Mr Biden’s agenda.
“We got a lot of work to do,” he said. “I think we can pick up three Senate seats. And I think we can increase our majority in the House, but we have to do it by more than just a couple of votes. We have to do it by more than a couple of votes, because it’s getting much too close.”