Biden to campaign in Midwest after clinching Democratic nomination

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Published Mar 13, 2024 05:08AM ET Updated Mar 13, 2024 09:52PM ET

Biden looks to shore up support in Midwest after clinching Democratic nomination © Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to reporters upon his return to Washington, at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, U.S., March 11, 2024, REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

By Andrea Shalal and Nandita Bose

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden visited the political battleground state of Wisconsin on Wednesday after clinching the Democratic Party’s nomination, and focused on hunting for votes among suburban women, Black voters and Latinos across the Midwest.

Biden announced over $3 billion in infrastructure investments in disadvantaged communities across 40 states, which will be funded through the bipartisan infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act

He said the projects should help repair neighborhoods in states such as Wisconsin where Black, Hispanic and Chinese communities were isolated years ago by major highways and roads.

“I’m here to announce the first of its kind of investments…to help right historic wrongs,” Biden said. “These are life-changing improvements,” he added.

During the speech, Biden also opened the campaign’s local headquarters and touted his administration’s economic policies, a strategy that so far has failed to persuade many likely voters.

Biden said there is an “awful lot at stake” and his campaign will “get down to knocking on doors” in Wisconsin and several other states.On Thursday, Biden plans to move on to Michigan, part of a month-long “I’m on board” blitz by top administration officials aimed at rallying supporters in the seven battleground states that could decide the 2024 election. In the past week, Biden has been in Pennsylvania, Georgia and New Hampshire.

On Tuesday, Biden’s campaign issued a new video entitled “Let’s Go” after voters in Georgia helped the 81-year-old incumbent president secure the last of the 1,968 delegates needed for the nomination, teeing up what would be the first U.S. presidential rematch in nearly 70 years.

In Wisconsin, Biden continued to attack former President Donald Trump, 77, and what he called Trump’s “campaign of resentment, revenge, and retribution that threatens the very idea of America.”

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, who campaigned in Colorado on Tuesday, visited Wisconsin last week to trumpet White House economic policies and talk about apprenticeship programs and “good-paying union jobs.”

“Now, the general election truly begins, and the contrast could not be clearer,” Harris said in a statement on Tuesday.

Wisconsin is a politically important state the Biden team wants to win in November to amass the 270 electoral votes required for reelection. Biden won the state of nearly six million people in 2020 by less than one percentage point.

Wisconsin and Michigan are part of the “blue wall,” along with Pennsylvania, that Biden will need to hold to secure a second term. In 2016, Trump flipped all three to win the White House, but Biden took them back four years ago.

About a hundred protesters waving Palestinian flags and shouting “Free, free Palestine,” rallied not far from Biden’s campaign headquarters in Milwaukee.

The protesters marched through the streets earlier to protest Biden’s response to Israel’s war on Gaza, which was sparked by the Oct. 7 attack of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, that killed some 1,200 people.

More than 30,000 people in Gaza have been killed as a result of Israel’s military response, according to Palestinian authorities, and the war has angered some of Biden’s core group of voters, including young people and left-leaning progressives.

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