President Joe Biden will step up his efforts to portray Republicans as a threat to American wallets in an upstate New York speech on Thursday, a closing argument that focuses less on his own accomplishments and more on what the GOP might do if it took control of Congress.
Biden’s visit to a community college in Syracuse, New York, is aimed at touting Micron’s pledge to invest $100 billion in semiconductor manufacturing, in part because of recent legislation that bolstered domestic production of chips. But in his remarks, Biden also plans to go after republican plans that he would support would scrap some cost-cutting programs he passed while rewarding the wealthy with further tax cuts.
It is an event that will serve as a real-time demonstration of a cold political reality. Despite guiding one of the fastest economic recoveries in modern history and securing four major legislative victories tied to his economic agenda, economic discontent, especially in the face of high inflation, still imperils majorities. Democrats in the House and Senate.
“We can talk about what we’ve done, all these huge legislative wins, until we’re blue,” a Democratic campaign official said. “If people can’t feel it, it doesn’t matter at this point.”
The president has focused on drawing contrast between the two parties for weeks, but his sharp message comes as Democrats grow increasingly concerned that the narrow universe of undecided voters could crashing sharply against their party in the final days of the campaign.
Syracuse, in particular, stands to benefit from a key Biden priority – semiconductor manufacturing – but it’s also the center of a competitive House race, where a conservative Trump-aligned Republican is running against a Democrat. moderated in a contest that is currently a raffle. at the top. The seat is vacated by incumbent Republican Representative John Katko.
The New York state gubernatorial contest has also tightened in recent weeks, with incumbent Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul taking on Rep. Lee Zeldin in a race heavily focused on rising crime rates.
A senior White House official said Biden would “highlight” five areas where Republicans have proposed undoing part of Biden’s agenda.
They include plans to extend Trump-era tax cuts; repeal the new drug pricing and health care cost provisions contained in the Reducing Inflation Act; eliminate tax credits for clean energy and electric vehicles; opposing Biden’s student loan relief plan; and threatening to cut Social Security and Medicare.
While Biden has spent much of this year’s midterm competition Highlighting the steps he has taken to cut costs for Americans and boost American manufacturing, polls show Americans giving him low marks on his handling of the economy. He’s trying to use Thursday as a moment to bridge the ever-present disconnect between an economy he calls “strong as hell” and voters who believe the exact opposite.
President received good news Thursday morning: Gross domestic product – the broadest measure of economic activity – rose at an annualized rate of 2.6% during the third quarter, according to preliminary estimates released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. It represents a sharp rebound after two quarters of negative growth that have become a magnet for GOP attacks.
But in a show of political reality, Biden’s political advisers framed the day around an aggressive attack on Republican economic proposals.
At the heart of the political message is something that has appeared prominently in Biden’s own remarks in recent days.
“Everyone wants to make it a referendum, but it’s a choice,” Biden said in a speech earlier this week, detailing his view that Republican majorities in Congress “are going to crash the economy. “.
Biden, who has mostly shunned large campaign rallies in favor of official events meant to promote his agenda, has recently stepped up his attacks on Republicans for threatening to roll back measures he says cut costs for Americans.
“There are two very different ways of seeing our country. One is, as I said before, the view from Park Avenue, which says to help the rich and maybe that will affect everyone in the country. The other is from Scranton or Claymont or thousands of cities across the country like where I grew up,” he said at the White House on Wednesday, referring to the cities he lived in as a child. in Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Still, he acknowledged that many Americans have yet to feel the benefits of an improving economy.
“I’m optimistic. It’s going to take time. And I appreciate the frustration of the American people,” he said.
White House officials said Wednesday that Biden’s message to Syracuse would offer a harsh rebuke to Republicans’ plans, including the potential to send the country into default by refusing to raise the debt ceiling.
It’s a message that Democratic officials hope will resonate in the final stretch of the campaign as Republicans appear to be gaining momentum. Biden himself is expected to continue traveling in the days leading up to the election, along with members of his cabinet.
A White House official said cabinet members had visited 29 states since Oct. 1 on 77 different trips to amplify Biden’s message.
“We are entering a time here where the choice before the American people is incredibly difficult, and the President will continue to illustrate exactly the impact that the mega MAGA fallout program that Congressional Republicans have proposed is going to have on the families, and he will continue to press this case from now and for weeks to come,” the official said.
So far, Biden’s midterm campaign calendar has mostly focused on states he won in the 2020 election, which nonetheless feature closer-than-expected races.