“I have made the defense, the protection, and the preservation of American Democracy the central cause of my presidency.
“From Gettysburg to my Inaugural Address, to the anniversary of the January 6th insurrection, to Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and Union Station in Washington, I’ve spoken about the danger of election denialism and political violence and the battle for the soul of America.
“Now today in Phoenix, Arizona, at an institute devoted to the defense of democracy named in honor of a true patriot, I’m here to speak about another threat to our democracy that we too often ignore: the threat to our institutions, to our Constitution itself, and the very character of our nation.”
“As I’ve always been clear, democracy is not a partisan issue. It’s an American issue.
“I have come to honor the McCain Institute and Library because they are home to a proud Republican who put country first. Our commitment should be no less because democracy should unite all Americans – regardless of political affiliation.
“But there is something dangerous happening in America. There is an extremist movement that does not share the basic beliefs of our democracy. The MAGA Movement.
“Not every Republican – not even the majority of Republicans – adhere to the extremist MAGA ideology. I know because I’ve been able to work with Republicans my whole career. But there is no question that today’s Republican Party is driven and intimidated by MAGA extremists. Their extreme agenda, if carried out, would fundamentally alter the institutions of American Democracy as we know it.”
“As I’ve said before, we’re at an inflection point in our history – one of those moments that only happens once every few generations. Where the decisions we make today will determine the course of this country – and the world – for decades to come.
“So, you, me, and every American who is committed to preserving our democracy carry a special responsibility. We have to stand up for America’s values embodied in our Declaration of Independence because we know MAGA extremists have already proven they won’t. We have to stand up for our Constitution and the institutions of democracy because MAGA extremists have made clear they won’t. History is watching. The world is watching. Most important, our children and grandchildren are watching.