President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will make a rare joint appearance on the campaign trail in Philadelphia Friday evening as they seek to boost Pennsylvania Democrats in the closing stretch of the election.
Their visit comes at crucial time, with less than two weeks until Election Day, as Democrats are fighting to hold onto their narrow majority in the 50-50 Senate. Pennsylvania represents the party’s best opportunity to pick up a Senate seat, with incumbent GOP Sen. Pat Toomey retiring.
Biden and Harris’ appearance at the Pennsylvania Democratic Party’s annual Independence Dinner, a major state party fundraising event, will mark the first time the President attends an event with Democratic Senate hopeful Lt. Gov. John Fetterman since his high-stakes debate performance against Republican Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz earlier this week.
Two other Democratic candidates will also be an attendance, per a Democratic official – Democratic gubernational candidate Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Rep. Matt Cartwright, who is facing a tough contest in Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District, which includes the President’s hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
The President and vice president are set to deliver keynote remarks “about the critically-important choice before voters,” the Democratic official said, when they speak at the fundraising reception that is expected to raise $1 million.
Biden will once again lean into his economic messaging that has peppered speeches in recent weeks as he tries to draw a contrast with “the Republicans’ mega MAGA trickle down plan,” the official said, including differences on prescription drug costs, Social Security, Medicare and tax plans.
This will mark the President’s 19th visit to Pennsylvania since taking office, frequenting the commonwealth in a mix of official and political events in the run-up to the election, a contrast to his approach to the majority of competitive Senate races across the country.
Biden is set to return to the Keystone state in the closing days of the campaign with expected appearances with his former boss, President Barack Obama, in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Biden’s 2020 rival, former President Donald Trump, is expected to campaign in Pennsylvania next weekend as well.
While the President has eschewed large campaign rallies this election cycle, he has been a frequent presence on the fundraising circuit, crisscrossing the country to raise money for Democrats, including at Friday night’s dinner. Other Democratic officials expected to be in attendance on Friday night include Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, US Sen. Bob Casey, Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison, and Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chair and state Sen. Sharif Street.
In the final week before the election, the President is set to campaign for Democrats in Florida, including Democratic gubernatorial nominee Charlie Crist and Democratic Senate nominee Rep. Val Demings, as well as travel to New Mexico for events with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and other local officials.
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