Biden Addresses Graduating Cadets at West Point Military Academy

President Biden told West Point cadets on Saturday that they owed an oath to the U.S. Constitution, not to their commander in chief, delivering a commencement message that echoed his campaign-year warnings about the looming threats to American democracy.

In his 22-minute speech to the graduating class at the United States Military Academy, Mr. Biden did not mention former President Donald J. Trump or repeat his accusation that returning Mr. Trump to the Oval Office would allow him to shred the norms that protect democratic institutions.

But Mr. Biden left little doubt about the subject of his concern.

“On your very first day at West Point, you raised your right hands and took an oath not to a political party, not to a president, but to the Constitution of the United States of America,” he said.

“Nothing is guaranteed about our democracy in America,” he added. “Every generation has an obligation to defend it, to protect it, to preserve it, to choose it. Now it’s your turn.”

Mr. Biden has argued that democracy is at stake in the upcoming presidential election, and that the basic institutions of government — including the military — are at risk if Mr. Trump is allowed to return to the Oval Office.

On Saturday, the president used the moment to suggest a sharp contrast with Mr. Trump, who delivered the commencement address at West Point in 2020 and received criticism even from some within the ranks of the academy for what they said was Mr. Trump’s desire for personal loyalty from the people around him.

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