Biden makes appeals to Rust Belt workers on Labor Day

By Eduard Ribas i Admetlla

Washington, Sep 5 (EFE).- United States President Joe Biden celebrated Labor Day on Monday by participating in union events in two key swing states for the November midterm elections, where he positioned himself as a defender of blue-collar workers.

“I promised to be the most pro-union President in American history, and [Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh] is keeping me to make that promise,” the Democratic leader said at an event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a Rust Belt state where a large portion of the population is employed in manufacturing.

Hours later, he repeated the message at a similar event held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, two days after former president Donald Trump held a rally in that state to support Republican candidates.

The economy is the main issue of concern for voters ahead of the November elections to renew Congress in a country where unemployment remains low but high inflation has hit the pockets of the working class.

In Milwaukee, Biden assured that manufacturers from all countries “are coming to the United States” because this country offers “the safest environment and the best workers in the world.”

He also made a case for unions at a time when thousands of workers at big companies such as Starbucks and Amazon are trying to unionize in the face of opposition from their employers.

Biden made it clear that he is not a critic of large corporations in general terms, but in favor of everyone contributing their fair share: “The days of billion-dollar companies paying zero, they are over in America,” he said.

Later, in Pittsburgh, accompanied by Walsh, he boasted of having created 10 million jobs since he arrived at the White House in January 2021, and once again defined himself as a “pro-union” president.

“Wall Street didn’t build America. The middle class built America, and unions built the middle class,” he said from a major city in his home state of Pennsylvania.

The visits to the swing states were purposeful, given that Trump won them in 2016 and Biden took them back for Democrats in 2020.

It is also the third time in a week that Biden has visited Pennsylvania, a key state that in November could tip the balance in the Senate, where Democrats and Republicans currently have a 50-seat tie.

Last Tuesday, the president led a rally in Wilkes-Barre and on Thursday he gave a solemn speech from Philadelphia, considered the cradle of democracy in the US, where he directly accused Trump of being a “threat” to democracy.

Trump, who is in the eye of the hurricane due to the investigation against him for having taken classified documents from the White House, followed in Pennsylvania on Saturday with a rally in Wilkes-Barre in which he called Biden an “enemy of the state.”

Biden reiterated Monday from Pittsburgh that “MAGA Republicans” are ‘extreme” and “democracy is really at stake.”

“You can’t be a democracy when you support violence when you don’t like the outcome of an election. You can’t call yourself a democracy when you don’t, in fact, count the votes that people legitimately cast and count that as what you are,” he said, referring to the riot on Capitol Hill last year, when a mob of Trump supporters tried to stop the ratification of Biden’s victory and the fact that his far-right followers still deny he lost the last election.

In the mid-term elections on Nov. 8, a third of the 100 seats in the Senate and the 435 in the House of Representatives are at stake. EFE


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