Biden says he’s ‘going to Georgia’ ahead of Boston trip in latest stumble

WASHINGTON — President Biden said Friday he was “heading to Georgia” to help Sen. Raphael Warnock’s campaign trail — when he was actually heading the other way.

“I’m going to Georgia today to help Senator Warnock,” Biden told reporters at the White House before clarifying, “not Georgia, we’re going to help Senator Warnock, I’m doing a major fundraiser in Boston today. for our next Senate candidate and senator.

The president was due to travel to Massachusetts to participate in a phone bank for Warnock with members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union before speaking at a reception for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.

Biden did not appear with Warnock ahead of his Tuesday showdown with Republican Herschel Walker, continuing the presidential trend of keeping a visibly low profile in key midterm election battlegrounds – allowing his fellow Democrats to stand distance from Biden’s relative unpopularity in swing states.

In contrast, former President Barack Obama fell for Warnock in Atlanta on Thursday night, with the last day for early voting set for Friday.

President Biden said Friday he would campaign for Georgia Sen. Warnock – in Massachusetts.
Getty Images

Warnock, pastor of the former Atlanta Church of Martin Luther King Jr., narrowly led retired football star Walker in the first ballot on November 8. State law requires a runoff because none of the candidates got more than 50 percent first round.

Former President Donald Trump pushed Walker to come forward, but the 60-year-old has since been accused of pressuring at least two women to have abortions. During the campaign, the media revealed that Walker had three previously unrecognized children.

Warnock, 53, meanwhile has faced allegations of domestic abuse from his ex-wife and intense scrutiny over evictions demanded by his church. Although he sits in the Senate, Warnock continued to earn a church salary of $120,000 and a monthly housing allowance of $7,417 in 2021.

Raphael Warnock speaks to supporters at a rally
Warnock narrowly beat Republican Herschel Walker on the first ballot.

Democrats are already poised to retain control of the Senate next year, but a Warnock victory would allow Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) more flexibility with 51 caucus members.

Schumer currently must win every vote in the 50-member Democratic caucus to allow Vice President Kamala Harris to sever ties. An equally divided Senate would also continue to give Republicans half of the committee seats as part of a power-sharing deal.

Until recently Georgia was a Republican, but Biden won the state by less than 12,000 votes in 2020, becoming the first Democrat to win the state in a presidential election since Bill Clinton in 1992.

Supporters of Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker
Walker is a former soccer star and was drafted into the race by former President Trump.
Justin Kase Photography/Shutters

Biden’s decision to distance himself from key 2022 races has been validated by much stronger-than-expected Democratic performances. Instead of a “red wave” predicted by the polls, Republicans won a simple majority in the House and were unable to retake the Senate.

In January 2021, Republican fights over Georgia’s presidential election results — with Trump attacking the state’s GOP officials — were widely blamed for the narrow election victories of Warnock and fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff. senatorial.

Herschel walker
Walker denies pressuring at least two women to have abortions.
Justin Kase Photography/Shutters

Warnock and Ossoff’s victories gave Democrats a majority in the Senate thanks to Harris’ deciding vote and allowed Biden to push through massive spending bills using special budget reconciliation rules.

Critics say these spending plans – including last year’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill and this year’s $437 billion environment and health bill, both passed without any Republican support – helped cause the worst sustained inflation since the early 1980s.

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