AUGUST 30, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden will travel to the key swing state of Pennsylvania Tuesday where he plans to contrast his administration’s efforts to strengthen law enforcement with the GOP’s and argue that congressional Republicans’ “extreme MAGA agenda is a threat to the rule of law,” a White House official said.
In afternoon remarks in Wilkes Barre, near his hometown of Scranton, Biden is expected to denounce calls from supporters of former President Donald Trump to defund the FBI and other rhetoric that has put federal investigators’ lives at risk following the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago earlier this month.
Biden will argue “that you can’t propose defunding the FBI or defend the mob that stormed the Capitol and attacked and assault police officers on January 6th and be pro-police,” the White House official said.
Biden will discuss his calls for increasing funding to hire and train 100,000 police officers in accordance with a recent executive order on policing. He’s also expected to highlight legislative wins that aim to help law enforcement, including money from the economic stimulus package passed in March of last year that state and local governments have used for policing as well as the bipartisan gun safety law he signed in June.
Biden will return to Pennsylvania on Thursday for a prime time speech at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, where he’ll say America’s “rights and freedoms are still under attack,” returning to the core message of his 2020 campaign, a White House official said. The visits come as Biden ramps up his travel schedule in the closing months of the midterm elections, including trips to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Labor Day.
The district where the president will be speaking Tuesday is represented by Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright and is considered a toss-up race by the Cook Political Report. Democratic Senate nominee, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, meanwhile, will not be attending the event, though he and gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro will attend Pittsburgh’s Labor Day parade next week when Biden is set to also visit the city.
Biden delivered a fiery speech at a midterm elections rally and a Democratic fundraiser in Maryland last week, where he lashed out at Republicans who have embraced the “Make America Great Again” philosophy central to Donald Trump’s presidency, saying it’s “like semi-fascism,” a comment that was immediately rebuked by the GOP.
Trump is expected to hold a rally in the Wilkes Barre area on Saturday in an effort to boost the candidacies of Senate contender Mehmet Oz and state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who’s running for governor.