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Biden hits the campaign trail after State of the Union address

President Biden will travel to at least four states in a week on the heels of his State of the Union address, with stops in Pennsylvania, Georgia, New Hampshire and Michigan to mark what his campaign is calling a March “Month of Action.”

Biden is expected to continue the fierce attacks he began Thursday in prime time on his predecessor Donald Trump, whom he attacked for representing the darkest parts of human nature, for “bowing down to a Russian leader” by threatening to stop funding European defense, and for attempting to “bury the truth” of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“My lifetime has taught me to embrace freedom and democracy, a future based on core values that have defined America: honesty, decency, dignity, equality, to respect everyone, to give everyone a fair shot, to give hate no safe harbor,” Biden said. “Now other people my age see it differently, the American story of resentment, revenge and retribution. That’s not me.”

Biden will begin Friday afternoon in the Philadelphia area, followed by an event in the Atlanta area on Saturday. He will appear Monday in New Hampshire and then Thursday in Michigan, with an event in Saginaw that was first reported by the Detroit News. More stops may be added.

The heavy schedule will be accompanied by a series of campaign announcements of office openings, volunteer opportunities and coalition groups meant to trigger the involvement of Biden supporters in the eight targeted swing states where the campaign is operating.

Additional travel is expected to be announced for first lady Jill Biden, who traveled to Wisconsin last weekend. Vice President Harris will travel to Phoenix on Friday for an official visit before heading to Las Vegas on Saturday for a campaign stop, with a particular focus on reaching Latino voters — a critical constituency for the president that has shown signs of drifting away from him.

Biden will also appear at a March 28 fundraiser with former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, along with comedian Stephen Colbert, who will moderate the discussion.

Cabinet officials and senior White House officials will also fan out across this country this month to tout Biden’s agenda. Officials will travel to liberal and conservative states, and a White House official say they will highlight the “clear contrast between competing visions for the country,” even as they appear in their official capacity as administration officials.

Among the trips: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will visit Arizona for the National Farmers Union Annual Conference, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will go to Philadelphia to highlight bridge repairs funded by bipartisan infrastructure law, and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm will travel throughout Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan to discuss Biden’s efforts to lower costs and create jobs.

The Biden campaign has telegraphed a desire to use the end of the Republican primaries as a way of resetting the race. Biden was trailing his likely challenger, former president Donald Trump, in the February average of polls, with a significant share of even the president’s own supporters expressing concern over his age and ability to manage the job of president.

“As we jump into March, as we come out of Super Tuesday and the president’s State of the Union in the next couple of weeks, it will be a real opportunity to just remind voters of just what that choice, how important and how critical this election is, and really what everyone can do to get on board,” campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez told progressive volunteers in a call late last month.

New swing-state advertising from the campaign and outside groups is also expected in the coming weeks and months. Democrats focused on the presidential campaign have long argued that the polling will reset once voters accept the reality that Trump and Biden are once again their major party choices.

The Biden campaign has focused its spending and organizing efforts on eight states so far this cycle. They include three Great Lakes states (Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin), two Sun Belt states (Nevada, Arizona), two southern states (Georgia, North Carolina) and New Hampshire. Future Forward, a super PAC supporting Biden, has also made ad reservations in the Omaha media market, where a single electoral college vote will be up for grabs.

Trump is also expected in Georgia on Saturday, marking the second time in recent weeks the two candidates will appear not far from each other. At the end of February, both Biden and Trump were only 300 miles apart as they visited the U.S.-Mexico border and blamed one another for the country’s immigration problems.

The visit to Michigan follows Biden’s victory in the state’s primary, even though more than 100,000 people voted “uncommitted” to protest Biden’s handling of the Israel-Gaza war. Michigan has a substantial population of Muslim and Arab Americans, and leaders have warned Biden’s support among those communities has fallen dramatically.

Biden visited the state last month to meet with United Auto Workers union workers and Black voters, studiously avoiding any interaction with the large Arab American community in the state.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

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