Biden promotes economic plan to WI union workers as 2024 reelection bid looms
DEFOREST Wis. (CBS 58) -- President Joe Biden kicked off a series of events promoting his economic plan in Wisconsin on the heels of his State of the Union address as he prepares for anticipated 2024 reelection announcement.
In an attempt to rally support from the middle-class, Biden visited the battleground state seeking to win over union and blue-collar workers at the Laborer's International Union of North American in Deforest, just north of Madison. It comes as Democrats are working to appease this group of voters who have shifted to the Republican Party over the last several years.
Speaking to a crowd of union workers, Biden geared his speech around job creation, specifically in the manufacturing sector, and pledged to invest in "people and places that feel forgotten."
"Once-thriving cities and towns became shadows of what they used to be," Biden said, referring to the 2008 closure of the General Motors plant in Janesville that used to employ thousands of workers.
"When those towns were hollowed out, something else was lost -- pride, self-esteem, a sense of self-worth. But now we're going to turn that around and build an economy where no one's going to be left behind."
Many themes of Biden's State of the State address were reiterated, including trying to help workers make more money, lowering the cost of prescription drugs and other "everyday products" to create "a little more breathing room."
He also touted how Wisconsin is benefiting from the bipartisan infrastructure law which includes $2.9 billion for projects such as new electric buses in Racine and Madison, along with investments in roads and bridges across the state.
"Each of these projects means jobs," Biden said. "These are good jobs, jobs you can raise a family on, and most don't require a college degree."
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who recently visited Milwaukee in preparation of hosting the 2024 Republican National Convention said in a statement, "Biden’s victory lap is out of touch with American families who are struggling to keep up with Biden’s failed economy. Every day is a crisis for American workers facing rising costs to feed their families, yet Joe Biden continues to deflect, divide, and duck blame without offering solutions."
After some heated exchanges with Republicans during his union address to Congress, Biden also took a swipe at Senator Ron Johnson for his comments suggesting Congress should approve Medicare and Social Security annually, rather than the programs be renewed automatically.
"Come on man," Biden said.
Johnson said Biden is "lying" about him.
"He lied last night, and he lied again today," Johnson said in a statement. "I never suggested putting Medicare & Social Security on the chopping block."
Biden's trip to Wisconsin comes as recent polling shows a vast majority of Americans, 85%, believe the county is heading in the wrong direction, according to an AP-NORC survey. It's a view that also reflects how some Wisconsin voters are hesitant about Biden running for a second term. Polling by Marquette University Law School shows 34% want Biden to run in 2024 and 29% back former President Donald Trump.
Biden has insisted he plans to run again in 2024. A formal announcement is expected in the coming months.