President Joe Biden “poured gasoline on that fire” with his July 13 criticism in Philadelphia of election reforms in Arizona, Georgia, Texas, and other states, according to former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
“The President poured gasoline on that fire, he’s dividing us further, and he undermines the credibility of those advocating for a federal takeover of elections,” Cuccinelli told reporters during a July 14 conference call. “That helps us defeat them, but it doesn’t help America come together to have this discussion over what does an ideal election look like.”
Cuccinelli, who served as acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under President Donald Trump, is now president of the Election Transparency Initiative, an Arlington, Virginia, nonprofit group advocating in support of election transparency and security at the state level.
He was referring to Biden’s statements on July 13 condemning the election reforms as anti-democratic.
“There is an unfolding assault taking place in America today, an attempt to suppress and subvert the right to vote in fair and free elections, an assault on democracy, an assault on liberty, an assault on who we are, who we are as Americans,” Biden said in a speech delivered at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
The speech was officially aimed at generating public support for congressional Democrats’ so-far-unsuccessful efforts to replace the Constitution’s assignment of authority over elections to the states with federal controls.
Biden wants Congress to pass HR1, the “For the People Act,” and HR4, the “John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.” The former was approved on a party-line vote in the House, but hasn’t come up for a vote in the Senate. The latter hasn’t yet been debated by either chamber of Congress.
He devoted a major portion of the speech to sharp attacks on Republicans in Congress and state legislatures for allegedly seeking to revive the Jim Crow laws of the segregated South after the Civil War.