(Update 1: Reledes, rewrites throughout)
Washington, Apr 25 (EFE).- President Joe Biden on Tuesday delivered a fiery speech to a union audience just hours after launching his 2024 reelection bid, receiving with a broad smile the applause from the loud and supportive crowd, who chanted “Four more years!” and “Let’s go, Joe!”
“Our economic plan is working,” he asserted to the North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) Legislative Conference at a Washington DC hotel, adding “We now have to finish the job, but there’s more to do.”
Biden seemed at home and in his natural environment at the venue and in front of the friendly crowd, smiling broadly while the audience shouted in unison “Let’s go, Joe!” as he took the stage.
“Manufacturing has come alive again,” Biden said in his remarks. “People can afford … decent healthcare. Towns that had been forgotten and left behind for dead are coming alive again because of you all and what we’re doing. Now we’ve just got to keep it going, finish the job!”
The president returned to the theme of “finishing the job” repeatedly in his speech, a phrase he used in the three-minute video in which early Tuesday morning he had announced his reelection bid.
However, despite the electoral coloring of his speech, he avoided specifically referring to the 2024 campaign due to laws separating political campaigns from specific activities associated simply with one’s job as president.
Biden used his speech to review some of the achievements of his term so far, including investments in infrastructure and in the fight against climate change, or global warming, and he promised he will continue fighting for key issues that he has still not managed to get through Congress and enacted into law.
For example, he reiterated his proposals to end the subsidies that US energy and pharmaceutical firms receive, as well as raising taxes on multimillionaires.
“No billionaire should be paying a lower tax rate than a construction worker, a schoolteacher, a firefighter, a cop, a nurse. I mean it. It’s wrong. It’s simply wrong. If you didn’t … if you didn’t live through this, you’d think I was making it up,” Biden asserted, remarks that brought the audience to their feet, applauding loudly.
One of Biden’s big reelection campaign promises is to keep defending the working class, which he considers to be the “backbone” of the country, and for which he has worked assiduously over the past two years by implementing policies designed to foster job creation, invest in social programs and reduce the price of medications.
Biden also went on the offensive and made clear that the progress that has been achieved in the past couple of years is in danger due to the ideas of the “MAGA Republicans,” referring to the campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again” used by Donald Trump in his 2016 presidential campaign and during his 2017-2021 term in office.
In 2024, Biden could once again face off against Trump in the presidential contest, given that the former president has already announced his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination in the primaries but earlier this month was indicted on 34 felony charges for falsifying business records in a New York court case.
“When I ran for president four years ago, I said we were in a battle for the soul of America. And we still are,” Biden said in the video he used to kickstart his campaign, in which his vice president, Kamala Harris, will be his running mate.
Since Biden took office, Republicans have successfully limited abortion access, voting access and LGBTQ+ rights.
The president warned that the fight for democracy is still raging: “Around the country, MAGA extremists are lining to take on those bedrock freedoms, cutting social security that you paid for your entire life while cutting taxes for the very wealthy, dictating what healthcare decisions women can make, banning books, and telling people who they can love, all while making it more difficult for you to be able to vote.”
Biden selected April 25 as the date on which to formally announce his reelection campaign because it was exactly four years ago that he launched the campaign that took him to the White House after defeating Trump’s own reelection bid.