Biden zeroes in on economic message as campaign winds down

Oct 27, 2022, 2:28 AM | Updated: Oct 28, 2022, 8:51 am
President Joe Biden speaks at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, N.Y., Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022...

President Joe Biden speaks at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, N.Y., Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — President Joe Biden zeroed in Thursday on economic issues as he fine-tuned his closing argument in upstate New York for voters trying to cope with raging inflation and fears of a recession heading into the Nov. 8 election.

Biden’s visits to a congressional battleground in Syracuse and then to Philadelphia on Friday are part of a strategic two-step crafted for a persistently unpopular president: promote his administration’s accomplishments at official White House events while saving the overt campaigning for states where his political power can directly bolster Democratic candidates.

The White House of late has paid outsize attention to Pennsylvania, where Democrats are aggressively contesting a Republican-held Senate seat to help offset potential losses in other marquee Senate races.

“The previous president left a string of broken promises in places like Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio, where promised investments in jobs and manufacturing never materialized,” Biden said, criticizing former President Donald Trump and Republicans for their economic policies. “On my watch, ‘Made in America’ isn’t just a slogan, it’s a reality.”

Biden got a boost on the news Thursday that the economy grew at a better-than-expected 2.6% annual rate from July through September, overcoming inflation and interest rates and snapping two straight quarters of economic contraction.

“For months, doomsayers have been arguing that the U.S. economy is in a recession and congressional Republicans have been rooting for a downturn,” Biden said in a statement. “But today we got further evidence that our economic recovery is continuing to power forward. This is a testament to the resilience of the American people.”

Biden jogged over to reporters before he left for New York and said it was a “Great economic report today – GDP report — things are looking good.”

In Syracuse, Biden showcased a significant investment by the U.S.-based company Micron, one of the largest microchip manufacturers in the world. The company has credited a new law boosting domestic production of semiconductors for its new facility that will create 50,000 jobs, which will pay an average of $100,000 a year.

“This is going to be massive,” Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra told Biden, showing off a model of what the facility would look like in 20 years. “This is going to be the largest investment in semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S.”

Biden called it the “largest American investment of its kind, ever, ever, ever in our history” and said the announcement was “the latest example of my economic plan at work.”

He warned against GOP proposals that he said would raise drug prices for older people and cut taxes on corporations. Biden also cited comments by Republicans suggesting they would use the debt limit as leverage in negotiations with the White House should they retake the majority in Congress.

“They’re determined to cut Social Security, Medicare and they’re willing to take down the economy over it,” Biden said.

Publicly, the White House and senior Democratic leaders express optimism that they’ll defy traditional midterm headwinds and retain control of Congress. But in private, there is angst that the House will be lost to Republicans and that control of the Senate is a coin flip.

It’s a position that Democrats point out is far more favorable than earlier in the election cycle — particularly before the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade ended constitutional protections for abortion and upended the political landscape — yet many in the party are nonetheless bracing for the loss of at least one chamber.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was captured on camera Thursday delivering a mixed assessment of the Senate map to Biden when he landed in Syracuse, expressing optimism about Nevada and the situation in Pennsylvania after John Fetterman’s debate performance Monday set off alarm bells among national Democrats. But Schumer raised his concerns about the state of the race in Georgia.

“It looks like the debate didn’t hurt us too much in Pennsylvania as of today, so that’s good, and basically we’re picking up steam in Nevada,” Schumer was heard telling Biden. “The state where we’re going downhill is Georgia. It’s hard to believe that they will go for Herschel Walker.”

But Schumer added that Democrats were performing well in early voting in Georgia, where incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock is aiming to hold off the Trump-backed challenger.

The president has had a steady uptick in travel in recent weeks, although he has avoided states such as Nevada and Arizona in which Democratic candidates prefer not to be tagged with the national party brand. He has appeared with a smattering of vulnerable House Democrats at official White House events in California and New York and raised campaign cash for candidates in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Oregon, as well as millions of dollars for the Democratic National Committee at fundraisers in Washington and elsewhere. He held a trio of virtual fundraisers Wednesday night for congressional candidates in Iowa, Nevada and Pennsylvania.

A reception scheduled for Friday in Philadelphia with the state Democratic Party, which Vice President Kamala Harris will also attend, will mark Biden’s 15th visit to Pennsylvania during his presidency. Plans for a joint appearance in the state with former President Barack Obama are in the works for next week.

Also next week, Biden is scheduled to headline a political rally Tuesday in Florida. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist has been publicly encouraging the president to campaign with him in a state that has increasingly trended toward Republicans in recent election cycles.

Biden sought to use the Micron event to hammer home a closing message aimed at framing the contrast between the two parties’ economic agendas — an argument that the president began sketching out at a Democratic National Committee event earlier this week.

“Everybody wants to make it a referendum, but it’s a choice between two vastly different visions for America,” Biden said of the midterms. “Democrats are building a better America for everyone with an economy that grows from the bottom up and the middle out, where everyone does well. Republicans are doubling down on their mega MAGA trickle-down economics that benefits the very wealthy.”

He continued: “It failed their country before and will fail it again if they win.”

In recent weeks, Biden has used the presidential bully pulpit considerably to promote Democratic accomplishments. But there’s some concern among Democrats that voters are not connecting economic growth in their communities often enough to what a Democratic-controlled government has completed during the first two years of Biden’s presidency.

“I think we have to be far more aggressive,” said Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif. “We’re actually bringing jobs back, but we’re not going out enough and acknowledging people’s anger and fear and say, ‘Here’s what we’re doing.'”

The Syracuse area is home to a House race for a seat being vacated by moderate Republican Rep. John Katko, a critical pickup opportunity for Democrats in a district that Biden won by more than 7 percentage points in 2020. Biden’s visit could also give a boost to New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, whose reelection contest against Republican Lee Zeldin has tightened in recent weeks.

Cabinet officials are fanning out nationwide to promote the administration’s economic message. For instance, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen traveled to Cleveland on Thursday to talk about Biden’s manufacturing agenda with Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. The retirement of his Republican colleague, Sen. Rob Portman, has led to another critical Senate race, this one between Republican J.D. Vance and Democrat Tim Ryan.

According to a White House tally, through Friday, members of Biden’s Cabinet will have gone to 29 states and Puerto Rico on 77 separate trips, with about half focused on amplifying Biden’s economic message.

AP White House Correspondent Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this report.

___

Follow the AP’s coverage of the 2022 midterm elections at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections. And check out https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections to learn more about the issues and factors at play in the midterms.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - In this aerial file photo provided by the National Park Service is the Junction Butte wolf p...
Associated Press

Montana judge restores state wolf hunting regulations

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana judge on Tuesday lifted a temporary restraining order that limited wolf hunting and trapping, saying there is nothing to suggest rules now in place will make wolf populations unsustainable in the short term. District Judge Christopher Abbott also rejected concerns raised by environmentalists that harvesting up to six wolves […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Kanye West, left, and Kim Kardashian attend the WSJ. Magazine Innovator Awards on Nov. 6, 20...
Associated Press

Kim Kardashian and Ye settle divorce, averting custody trial

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kim Kardashian and Ye have reached a settlement in their divorce, averting a trial that had been set for next month, court documents filed Tuesday showed. The former couple and their attorneys filed documents asking for a judge’s approval of terms they have agreed on, including $200,000 per month child support […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Texas woman pleads guilty to role in Vanessa Guillen’s death

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The only suspect arrested in connection with the killing of Vanessa Guillén at a Texas military base in 2020 pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges that included helping dispose of the soldier’s body near Fort Hood. Cecily Aguilar, 24, pleaded guilty in a federal court in Waco, Texas, to one count of […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Homeless Outreach personnel reach out to a person sleeping on a bench in the Manhattan subwa...
Associated Press

Mayor says NYC will treat mentally ill, even if they refuse

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City’s mayor on Tuesday said he was directing police and city medics to be more aggressive about getting severely mentally ill people off the streets and subways and into treatment, even if it means involuntarily hospitalizing some people who refuse care. “These New Yorkers and hundreds of others like […]
18 hours ago
Kroger CEO William Rodney McMullen speaks during a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Pol...
Associated Press

US lawmakers skeptical grocery merger will mean lower prices

U.S. senators from both parties expressed skepticism Tuesday that a proposed merger between grocery giants Kroger and Albertsons would result in lower prices for consumers. “Fewer local options mean less competition to keep prices low,” said Sen. Alex Padilla, a California Democrat, in a hearing before the antitrust subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Padilla […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares speaks during an inaugural celebration on Jan. 15, 2...
Associated Press

NAACP: ‘Scant’ info in records about election integrity unit

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia NAACP said Tuesday it was “deeply disappointed” after receiving “scant” information of substance in response to a wide-ranging public records request it made with the state’s Republican attorney general about his new election integrity unit. After expressing concerns that the unit could lend credence to election-fraud conspiracies, the civil […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Biden zeroes in on economic message as campaign winds down