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Former President George W. Bush on Saturday warned of homegrown violent extremism while speaking at the Flight 93 memorial on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Driving the news: "We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within," said Bush, who joined Vice President Kamala Harris and others at the ceremony.

  • "There's little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them."
  • Following the Capitol riot, Bush released a statement denouncing "the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions and our law enforcement."
  • "The violent assault on the Capitol — and disruption of a constitutionally mandated meeting of Congress — was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes. Insurrection could do grave damage to our nation and reputation," the 43rd president added.
  • The former President's remarks come a week before a Sept. 18 rally planned in support of individuals arrested for storming the Capitol on Jan. 6. The rally — spearheaded by former Donald Trump presidential campaign official Matt Braynard — is known as "Justice for J6."

The big picture: Bush also highlighted the unity that was on display in the weeks following the 9/11 attacks in his speech on Saturday.

  • "In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks, I was proud to lead an amazing, resilient, united people. When it comes to the unity of America, those days seem distant from our own," Bush said.

President Biden speaking at a fire station in Shanksville praised Bush's speech and echoed his message of the importance of restoring national unity.

  • "Are we going to, in the next four, five, six, 10 years, demonstrate that democracies can work, or not?" Biden said.
  • Former President Trump, who opted not to participate in official events and instead spoke to first responders at the 17th Precinct station house in East Midtown, struck a divisive tone in his remarks.

Go deeper: Harris, Bush preach unity at Flight 93 memorial ceremony on 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks

Go deeper

12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate offices closing ahead of "Justice for J6" demonstration

Security fencing outside the U.S. Capitol ahead of a planned "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C.. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Multiple congressional offices will be closed Friday amid security precautions ahead of Saturday's rally in support of jailed Jan. 6 rioters, aides who have been instructed to work remotely tell Axios.

Why it matters: As the U.S. Capitol faces its first large-scale security test since the deadly attack, House and Senate offices are taking precautionary measures to protect staff as well as lawmakers.

GOP Rep. Gonzalez retires in face of Trump-backed primary

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) announced his retirement on Thursday, declining to run against a Trump-backed primary challenger in 2022.

Why it matters: Gonzalez has suffered politically since siding with House Democrats to impeach the 45th president after the Capitol riot.

Swing voters oppose Texas abortion law

Protesters at a rally at the Texas State Capitol. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

All 10 swing voters in Axios’ latest focus groups — including those who described themselves as "pro-life" — said they oppose Texas' new anti-abortion law.

Why it matters: If their responses reflect larger patterns in U.S. society, this could hurt Republicans with women and independents in next year's midterm elections. The swing voters cited overreach, invasion of privacy and concerns about frivolous lawsuits jamming up the courts.