DemDaily: Biden and Harris Hit The Road

February 9, 2023

On the heels of high marks on his State of the Union speech, President Joe Biden and his Cabinet members have embarked on a 20-state post-SOTU media "blitz" to tout his economic agenda.

The two-day, 30-event tour is focused on promoting the accomplishments of the administration over the last two years, as outlined in Tuesday's rather remarkable address.

“The economic travel blitz showcases how the president’s vision is creating jobs, rebuilding our infrastructure, lowering costs for families, tackling climate change, investing in our future and delivering for families too often left behind.” - The White House

Biden's speech, which garnered a 72% positive rating in a CNN flash poll, was historic for his exceptional delivery, energy and eloquence, as well as his unprecedented and contentious sparring with an unruly GOP conference.

The highlight came when, after calling out "some Republicans" for proposed cuts in Social Security and Medicare in return for raising the debt ceiling, Biden was assailed by boos from Republicans in the chamber -- including a shouted "liar" from MAGA member Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA).

Not only did Biden push back by offering printed proof of GOP proposals, he effortlessly turned the tables on the unsuspecting hecklers, noting that the unified negative response to such cuts must mean that they must "all apparently agree -- Social Security and Medicare are off the books now, right?"

It was one of several unscripted, debate-like moments when an almost giddy Biden skillfully deflected his detractors.

Democrats are hoping that it was a preview of a reinvigorated President as he takes his battle to the road ahead of his anticipated reelection announcement in the coming months.

Despite a historic midterm record of accomplishments, Biden is still struggling with low approval ratings from an electorate that has yet to connect the credit to the President.

Biden kicked off the "blitz" Wednesday in the battleground state of Wisconsin, which he narrowly won by 0.63% in 2020. At a Laborers International Union (LIUNA) training facility in DeForest, Wisconsin, he spoke about the bipartisan infrastructure bill which has produced "hundreds of thousands of new jobs" and $4 billion in new investments for The Badger State.

"This is a blue-collar, blue change that we're seeing," he said. "We've created more jobs in two years than any president has created in a single four-year term."

While Biden was talking job creation, Vice President Kamala Harris was in Atlanta promoting the administration's clean energy initiatives.

In her remarks at Georgia Tech, Harris credited the administration's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act for helping to fund solutions to the climate crisis and working to reduce carbon emissions by the end of the decade.

Wednesday also saw Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen visit a Tennessee battery manufacturing facility and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was in North Carolina to discuss grants for climate-smart production practices. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona toured an Omaha, Nebraska high school and discussed lowering higher education costs with students.

At the University of Tampa Thursday, Biden discussed his administration's efforts to safeguard Social Security and Medicare and lower the cost of healthcare. He used the opportunity to once again assail "some" Republican Members of Congress for pushing plans to undermine the programs and the economic security of their senior constituents.

Harris traveled to St. Cloud, Minnesota to highlight electric vehicle investments, while Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm visited Carson City, Nevada to announce an investment in battery manufacturing.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg traveled to Lake Charles, Louisiana to celebrate federally-funded infrastructure investments. That included the $150 million grant to help replace a 70-year-old local bridge that serves as a key route between the state and Texas.

Other Cabinet-level visits focused on Veterans Affairs programs in Texas, economic opportunity for Black Americans in Oklahoma, plans to plug orphan wells in Pennsylvania and efforts by farmers and ranchers in Kansas to address climate change. Officials also visited Arizona, California, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and Utah.

The tour follows Biden’s stops earlier in the week in Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia, which focused on rail and water infrastructure projects funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

"Because the soul of this nation is strong, because the backbone of this nation is strong, because the people of this nation are strong, the state of the union is strong." - President Joe Biden

Related
See DemDaily: Joe Biden's State of The Union 2/8/23

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Sources: White House, AP, PBS, UPI, CNN, NPR, USNews

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