Biden draws hardliner fire for dedicating Easter Sunday to transgender people; says G20 leaders want him to defeat Trump

The US elections 2024 race between Democrat leader and incumbent President of the United States Joe Biden and Republican nominee Donald Trump has entered a new phase of acrimony, with Biden declaring March 31 as the ‘Day of Transgender Visibility’ and the Trump campaign calling for “[an] apology to the millions of Catholics and Christians across America”, since the date coincides with Easter Sunday this year.

US President Joe Biden
“There are those who want to pull America back into the past and those who want to move it into the future. My lifetime has taught me to embrace the future. Honesty. Decency. Fairness. Equality. That’s the American dream,” wrote US President Joe Biden in an X post published on March 30, 2024. Photo courtesy: X/@JoeBiden

Right before Biden was targeted by hardliners in America over Easter Sunday, he told a fundraiser gathering — also attended by former Democrat presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton — that all the world leaders he met during the recent G20 summit in India had asked him to defeat Trump.

Trump, the former US president who accused Biden of “stealing” the elections in 2020 and incited widespread violence in early 2021, is running a no-holds-barred campaign. Other than the Easter Sunday row, the latest headlines are about Trump releasing a video that shows an image of a hog-tied Biden printed on the back of a truck.

US President Joe Biden depicted as 'hog-tied' by the Trump campaign
US President Joe Biden depicted as ‘hog-tied’ by the Donald Trump campaign. Screenshot courtesy: YouTube/CNN

On the subject of Biden dedicating a day to the transgender community coinciding with Easter Sunday, the Trump campaign press secretary Karoline Leavitt said, “We call on Joe Biden’s failing campaign and White House to issue an apology to the millions of Catholics and Christians across America who believe tomorrow is for one celebration only — the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” She also criticised the Biden administration’s “years-long assault on the Christian faith”.

On Good Friday, March 29, Biden had issued a proclamation, calling on “all Americans to join us in lifting up the lives and voices of transgender people throughout our nation and to work toward eliminating violence and discrimination based on gender identity”.

According to a report by the Associated Press, this decision has infuriated Mike Johnson, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and a Republican politician from Louisiana. The AP report quoted Mike Johnson as saying that the “Biden White House has betrayed the central tenet of Easter” and that the decision was “outrageous and abhorrent”.

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates gave out a statement: “As a Christian who celebrates Easter with family, President Biden stands for bringing people together and upholding the dignity and freedoms of every American… President Biden will never abuse his faith for political purposes or for profit.”

“You can’t let him win”, said world leaders to Biden about Trump

US President Joe Biden has claimed that during his meetings with world leaders, including at the G20 summit in India (in September 2023), almost every one of them told him not to let his predecessor Donald Trump win in 2024.

Former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton also joined Biden on Thursday night in New York at the most lucrative fundraiser of the 2024 campaign, warning fellow Democrats that Trump, a Republican, must be defeated.

“Trump says if he loses again — again in November, there will be a ‘bloodbath’. What the hell is with this guy? No… I’m really serious. It concerns me the most,” said Biden at the fundraiser.

“And — whether it’s the G20 meeting in India or whatever, [a] meeting where there are other heads of state — I am not exaggerating when I say… and I say it in front of the press without giving the names… almost every one of the world leaders finds an excuse to get me alone for a moment, puts their hand on my arm, and says, ‘You can’t let him win.’”

Biden added that all of these world leaders wanted to see Trump defeated, because they felt that a different result could threaten their own democracies. “My democracy is at stake,” said these world leaders, according to Biden.

Going into more detail about why other world leaders wanted to see Trump beaten in the US elections 2024, Biden said, “This is a guy who walked away from NATO… told [Russian President] Putin he could do whatever he wants if they’re not paying their dues.”

Biden continued, “Just look at what [Trump] has done. The rest of the world is wondering what in the hell is happening to us. And they’re relieved, not because I’m so special, but that I’m not Trump. I’m serious. I wish it was because they thought Biden was such a wonderful guy.

“I think [the other world leaders] respect me. I think they listen to me. But the point is, it’s because they’re scared to death for their countries if [Trump] were to win again.”

Speaking at the Biden fundraiser, Bill Clinton accused Trump of taking credit, while in office, for an economy that had started improving under Barack Obama. He added that Biden later inherited “a mess” left by Trump.

Obama said, “Joe is absolutely right that we’ve got not just a [Republican] nominee, but frankly a party and an entire infrastructure that increasingly seems unconcerned with the essence of America.”

“But,” said Obama, who had made history in 2008 as the first black president of America, “we also have a positive story to tell about the future”.

—With reporting by the Press Trust of India