Biden to center democracy in campaign pitch

President Joe Biden’s campaign on Tuesday laid out new plans to make its case that Trump is a threat to democracy, including a Saturday speech in Valley Forge, Pa., to mark the third anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, NBC News’ Megan Lebowitz reports. 

Biden’s deputy campaign manager Quentin Fulks said during a Tuesday press call that Biden “will make the case directly that democracy and freedom — two powerful ideas that united the 13 colonies and that generations throughout our nation’s history have fought and died for a stone’s throw from where he’ll be Saturday — remains central to the fight we’re in today,” per Lebowitz. 

The Biden campaign plans to focus on threats to democracy throughout the 2024 campaign, with Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez saying, “”Our message is clear and it is simple: We are running a campaign like the fate of our democracy depends on it. Because it does.”

While Biden makes his case on Saturday, Trump will be in Iowa for two rallies, per NBC’s Jake Traylor.  

In other campaign news … 

Debate drama: CNN announced Tuesday that Trump, DeSantis and Haley each qualified for the network’s Jan. 10 debate in Iowa. NBC’s Jake Traylor reports that Trump will instead participate in a live town hall event with Fox News. Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy announced he would counterprogram the debate with a live podcast interview, per NBC’s Katherine Koretski. 

Dem drama: Biden will be the lone Democratic candidate on North Carolina’s primary ballot, the state’s election board decided on Tuesday, per the Associated Press. Minnesota Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips sharply criticized the decision amid his own longshot primary bid, likening the move to Iranian elections, writing on X, “Never imagined the Florida and North Carolina Democratic Parties would use Iran’s tactics to guarantee the outcome of an election.” 

99 counties, twice: Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy on Tuesday celebrated the completion of what he’s dubbed the “Double Grassley,” after he visited every county in Iowa twice over the course of his Republican presidential primary bid NBC News’ Alex Tabet, Lindsey Pipia and Katherine Koretski report.

A tale of two Steves: House Majority Leader Steve Scalise announced Tuesday that he is endorsing Trump in the GOP primary, even after Trump did not back Scalise’s unsuccessful speakership bid. And former Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King announced that he is endorsing Ramaswamy. (King lost his 2020 primary after he was removed from his committees for making racist comments.)

Lieberman on No Labels: Former Sen. Joe Lieberman, No Labels’ founding chairman, told CNBC that the group is reaching out to potential candidates for its presidential ticket, noting that “right now nobody is saying ‘No,’ but nobody is saying ‘Yes, I’m ready to declare.’” 

More allegations: Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., is facing more allegations as part of a second superseding indictment filed on Tuesday, which says that Menendez was involved in helping a New Jersey developer secure an investment from a Qatari-linked company, per NBC’s Tom Winter and Dareh Gregorian. Menendez has not yet said if he is running for re-election this year.