Biden makes sixth trip to Ohio as president as he talks economy


President Joe Biden chatted with Jill Biden in the White House’s Jacqueline Kennedy Rose Garden on Wednesday before he left for Ohio, where he will try to woo blue-collar voters frustrated by high inflation.

The couple spoke for several minutes before setting off on their trip.

Unusually, President Biden, with a folded newspaper in hand, left the White House through the East Wing, where the first lady’s offices are located. Typically, presidents exit from the West Wing, where the Oval Office is located, or from the Diplomatic Reception Room, which is downstairs from the Private Residence on the upper floors.

Jill Biden, wearing a green suit jacket and yellow floral-patterned skirt, did not accompany Biden on her trip. She returned to her East Wing office as Biden walked to Marine One.

It’s his sixth trip to the swing state of Ohio as president and Biden will use his time there to tout his actions on the economy – an area where voters are giving him low marks as prices gasoline and food remain at record levels.

Ohio has had a streak of red — Donald Trump has worn it in the last two presidential elections — but it’s also home to Biden-like voters: middle-class voters from heavily unionized homes whose voting habits sway decide the elections.

Biden needs those voters to help Democrats maintain control of Congress in the November election.

But questions are mounting — among Democrats themselves — about what the president can do to help the party at the polls as voters express frustration with the state of the country.

Democrats worry that this could lead to a loss of control of Congress.

President Joe Biden chatted with Jill Biden in the Jacqueline Kennedy Rose Garden at the White House before he left for Ohio on Wednesday

The pair chatted minutes before he left;  Biden, unusually, left the White House through the East Wing, where the first lady's offices are located.

The pair chatted minutes before he left; Biden, unusually, left the White House through the East Wing, where the first lady’s offices are located.

Jill Biden, wearing a green suit jacket and yellow floral-patterned skirt, did not accompany Biden on her trip but returned to her East Wing office

Jill Biden, wearing a green suit jacket and yellow floral-patterned skirt, did not accompany Biden on her trip but returned to her East Wing office

President Biden and Jill Biden in the Kennedy Rose Garden outside the East Wing

President Biden and Jill Biden in the Kennedy Rose Garden outside the East Wing

Joe Biden makes sixth trip to Ohio as president;  he will talk about the economy as he tries to woo blue-collar voters

Joe Biden makes sixth trip to Ohio as president; he will talk about the economy as he tries to woo blue-collar voters

And the Democratic nominee for Ohio’s open Senate seat – Tim Ryan – will not be with Biden on Wednesday but, instead, will campaign statewide. Democrats are trying to flip the seat from red to blue, and Ryan is targeting the same blue-collar voters Biden is addressing during his stop in the state.

Ryan’s Republican opponent is Trump-endorsed JD Vance, who is famous for his rags-to-riches story described in his memoir Hillbilly Elegy and for changing his views on Donald Trump, whom he once called a “objectionable”. Vance courted and won the former president’s approval, facing criticism for his quick change of heart.

While in Cleveland, Biden will appear with union workers at an area high school, where he will talk about his efforts to protect retiree pension plans.

Specifically, he will tout his U.S. bailout’s special financial relief package, which will protect millions of workers in multi-employer pension plans who have faced deep benefit cuts, the White House said. .

Nearly 2 million workers in Ohio will benefit from the administration’s actions, according to the White House.

But Ohio also presents many of the challenges Democrats face in the 2022 midterm elections, including economic challenges.

For example, Intel has suspended plans to launch a new factory in Ohio, citing concerns about what Congress will do to help chipmaking.

Biden, in his State of the Union address earlier this year, called the plant “a field of dreams.” Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger was one of the President’s guests at the State of the Union.

“If you drive 20 miles east of Columbus, Ohio, you’ll find 1,000 acres of empty land. It won’t look like much, but if you stop and look closely, you’ll see a “Field of dreams”, the ground on which the future of America will be built. It is where Intel, the American company which helped to build Silicon Valley, will build its “mega site” of semiconductors of $20 billion,” Biden said in his speech.

Voters in Ohio said “inflation” was their top concern. Gas prices in Ohio, at an average of $4.70 – are slightly lower than the national average of $4.78, according to AAA.

Biden’s economic adviser Gene Sperling told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer that the president is “deeply aware” that American families “have not escaped the pain at the gas pump and the grocery line of global inflation that is hitting families around the world”.

“The President will also strongly underscore all that the US bailout has done to help working Americans, to help working American families, and to help ensure that we have the resilience to get through, to make the transition to more balanced growth with lower prices,” Sperling told the newspaper.

Democratic Senate candidate Tim Ryan will not appear with President Biden when he is in Ohio

Republican Senate candidate JD Vance

Democratic Senate candidate Tim Ryan (left) – who is running against Republican JD Vance (right) – will not appear with President Biden when he is in Ohio

Racial tensions are also high in the state.

The killing of Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old black man, by police in Akron, Ohio, last week sparked protests and calls for Biden to do more on police reform.

And the Supreme Court’s overturning of the Roe v. Wade case allowed a six-week abortion ban to take effect in Ohio — one of the most restrictive measures of any state. swing and the one the Democrats decried.

All of those issues — abortion, inflation, gas prices, whether Trump should be indicted for his role in the Jan. 6 uprising — have been on Democrats’ list of frustrations with the president.

And Biden’s numbers keep dropping.

A Monmouth University poll released on Tuesday found Biden’s approval rating fell to a new low in June, with 58% saying they disapproved of the job he was doing and just 36% giving him their approval. .

And just 28% approved of Biden’s handling of the economy, down from 51% a year ago, according to an AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released last week.

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