UNITED STATES NEWS

Biden tells Latino voters they’re the reason he defeated Trump in 2020 and says, ‘I need you back’

Mar 19, 2024, 2:03 AM | Updated: 7:32 pm

PHOENIX (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday personally appealed to Latino voters, saying they’re the reason he defeated Donald Trump in 2020 and urging them to help him do it again in November.

“I need you back,” he told several dozen supporters packed into a local Mexican restaurant.

Biden said the upcoming election isn’t a referendum on him, but rather a choice between “me and a guy named Trump.” The Democrat highlighted Trump’s derogatory rhetoric toward Latinos, from saying during his winning 2016 campaign that many of those coming to the United States from Mexico are rapists to the Republican’s more recent claim that migrants are “poisoning the blood of our country.”

Biden said Hispanic unemployment is the lowest it’s been in a long time because of his policies, highlighted administration initiatives to help small businesses and reduce gun violence, and criticized Trump for wanting more tax cuts for rich people.

“He wants to get rid of all the programs we put together,” Biden said.

Biden’s push with Latino voters is part of the campaign’s broader efforts to lay the groundwork to reengage various constituencies he will need to be reelected. That effort is all the more crucial as key parts of Biden’s base, such as Black and Hispanic adults, have become increasingly disenchanted with his performance in office.

In an AP-NORC poll conducted in February, 38% of U.S. adults approved of how Biden was handling his job. Nearly 6 in 10 Black adults (58%) approved, compared to 36% of Hispanic adults. Black adults are more likely than white and Hispanic adults to approve of Biden, but that approval has dropped in the three years since Biden took office.

Biden, who is on a three-day campaign swing through Nevada, Arizona and Texas that’s designed largely to court Latino voters, told supporters at an earlier political stop Tuesday in Reno, Nevada, that he and Trump have a “different value set.” He also criticized Trump’s rhetoric.

“I never heard a president say the things that he has said,” Biden said.

Biden said Washoe County, where Reno is located, and Nevada are “really, really, really critical” for the November election. Nevada is among the roughly half-dozen battlegrounds that will determine the next president, and Washoe is the lone swing county in the state.

“We’re going to beat him again,” Biden said of Trump.

Afterward, Biden flew to Las Vegas to promote his administration’s housing policies. In Phoenix on Wednesday, he’ll discuss his support of the computer chip manufacturing sector.

Tuesday’s appearances coincided with the launch of Latinos con Biden-Harris (Spanish for Latinos with Biden-Harris). Campaign ads ran in English, Spanish and Spanglish, a blend of the two languages, as did two Spanish-language radio interviews with the president.

“I plan on working like the devil to earn your support,” Biden said on “El Bueno, la Mala y el Feo” (“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”) on Univision Radio.

In the interview, Biden turned questions about immigration into an indictment of Trump for his language about migrants, most recently saying they are “animals” and not people. Biden also noted Trump’s pledge to carry out mass deportations.

“We have to stop this guy, we can’t let this happen,” Biden said. “We are a nation of immigrants.”

Biden’s reelection campaign, along with allied Democratic groups, have opened offices in Washoe County and in specific areas of Las Vegas that aides said will help the campaign with Black, Latino and Asian American voters. The president said Tuesday that his campaign will open more offices in the state, and Daniel Corona, the campaign’s deputy political coalitions director, said Biden’s reelection effort was hiring a political director to focus on rural parts of the state.

Bilingual campaign organizers are already in place in Arizona, and the campaign has opened an office in Maryvale, a major Latino community in Phoenix. The campaign has hired more than 40 staffers in Nevada and Arizona.

The Republican National Committee accused Democrats of taking the Hispanic community for granted.

“Republicans will continue receiving with open arms thousands of Hispanics that are moving to our party, disappointed with Democrats and their policies, and will be fundamental to Republican victories all over the country in 2024,” said Jaime Florez, the party’s director of Hispanic outreach.

Biden campaign officials believe that tuned-out voters are starting to pay attention to the reality of a rematch between Biden and Trump now that they are their parties’ presumptive nominees. They’re trying to boost coalition-building efforts in battleground states now that the matchup is set, using the energy coming out of Biden’s State of the Union address this month to jolt their campaign momentum.

That includes, for example, ensuring that chapters are in place across college campuses so that students have a place to organize and that campaign offices are open and stocked with yard signs, campaign literature and other materials. Democrats are hoping that Trump and the GOP will struggle to catch up in key states.

Latinos con Biden-Harris formally launched at Biden’s Phoenix stop. The campaign has similar groups geared toward women and college students.

“This isn’t stuff that you can just stand up. This is stuff that requires work,” Quentin Fulks, principal deputy campaign manager for the Biden campaign, said in an interview. “It does require training. It does require making sure that your volunteers and supporters have what they need on the ground.”

Meanwhile, the RNC dismissed dozens of staffers after new leaders closely aligned with Trump took over last week. Those let go include people who worked at the party’s community centers that helped build relationships with minority groups in some Democratic-leaning areas. The committee’s new leadership has since insisted that those centers will remain open.

Still, the Biden campaign and the broader Democratic Party are confronting their own struggles, despite their organizational advantages. On top of Biden’s weaker job performance numbers, Democrats are seeing less support from key voting blocs come election time: While Biden won 63% of Hispanic voters in 2020, that percentage shrunk to 57% for Democratic candidates in the 2022 midterms, according to AP VoteCast, a survey of the national electorate.

Biden campaign officials say they are confident that once the contrast between the president’s agenda and Trump’s plans for a second term are presented to disillusioned members of Biden’s coalition, they will ultimately back the president.

Biden is scheduled to close the trip with fundraisers in Dallas and Houston.

___

Associated Press writers Linley Sanders and Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.

___

Follow the AP’s coverage of President Joe Biden at https://apnews.com/hub/joe-biden.

United States News

Associated Press

A convicted rapist is charged with murder in the killing of a Connecticut visiting nurse

A convicted rapist was charged with murder and attempted sexual assault Friday in the killing of a visiting nurse at a Connecticut halfway house for sex offenders in October — a crime that spurred calls for better safety measures for home health care workers. Authorities added the charges against Michael Reese, 39, as he appeared […]

2 minutes ago

Associated Press

Catholic priest resigns from Michigan church following protests over his criticism of a gay author

BEAL CITY, Mich. (AP) — A Catholic priest has resigned as pastor of a church in a small central Michigan community, the result of weeks of controversy following his publicly expressed regret that a gay author had read a book to preschool children. Gay rights activists and others have held regular protests outside St. Joseph […]

12 minutes ago

Associated Press

Judge drops some charges against ex-Minnesota college student feared of plotting campus shooting

NORTHFIELD, Minn. (AP) — A judge has dismissed some of the most serious charges against a former Minnesota college student who police and prosecutors feared was plotting a campus shooting. Waylon Kurts, of Montpelier, Vermont, who was then a student at St. Olaf College in Northfield, was charged last April with conspiracy to commit second-degree […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

A man gets 19 years for a downtown St. Louis crash that cost a teen volleyball player her legs

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man has been sentenced to 19 years in prison for causing a downtown accident that resulted in the amputation of the legs of a teenage volleyball player from Tennessee. Daniel Riley, 22, was convicted last month of second-degree assault, armed criminal action, fourth-degree assault and driving without a […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

The Latest | Third and fourth alternates selected for Trump’s hush money trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Three more alternates in Donald Trump ‘s hush money case were picked by early afternoon on Friday as jury selection moved forward for a fourth and possibly final day. The proceedings followed an intense day Thursday that ultimately saw 12 jurors and one alternate sworn-in by late afternoon after two previously […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Wall Street limps toward its longest weekly losing streak since September

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street’s latest losing week looks to be coming to a relatively quiet close on Friday. U.S. stocks are drifting after oil prices briefly surged overnight on worries about fighting in the Middle East. The S&P 500 was 0.1% higher in early trading and on track for its third straight losing […]

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Biden tells Latino voters they’re the reason he defeated Trump in 2020 and says, ‘I need you back’