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Biden references ‘instinct’ to ‘walk away’ from democracy in Normandy speech

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President Biden on Friday repeatedly referenced an ‘instinct’ to ‘walk away’ from democracy during a speech in Normandy about the heroics of the Army Rangers who scaled Pointe du Hoc more than 80 years ago on D-Day. 

‘We talk about democracy, American democracy. We often talk about the ideals of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. What we don’t talk about is how hard it is, how many ways we’re asked to walk away, how many instincts there are to walk away,’ Biden said. ‘The most natural instinct is to walk away.’ 

Biden, who at 81 is running for re-election this fall, has previously faced pressure from some in politics to step aside and let another Democrat pursue the nomination. 

He also used his speech Friday to take a swipe at Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

‘Because of them, the war turned,’ Biden said about the Army Rangers who climbed the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc. ‘They stood against Hitler’s aggression. Does anyone doubt that they would want America to stand up against Putin’s aggression here in Europe today?’ 

‘They stormed the beaches alongside their allies. Does anyone believe these Rangers would want America to go it alone today?’ he continued.  

‘They fought to vanquish a hateful ideology in the 30s and 40s. Does anyone doubt they wouldn’t move heaven and earth to vanquish hateful ideologies of today?’ Biden also said. ‘These Rangers put mission and country above themselves. Does anyone believe they would exact any less from every American today? 

Biden concluded his speech by saying ‘They’re not asking us to scale these cliffs, but they’re asking us to stay true to what America stands for… they’re asking us to do our job to protect freedom of our time, to defend democracy, to stand up to aggression abroad and at home, to be part of something bigger than ourselves. 

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