President Joe Biden will hammer Republicans on Thursday in what the White House called a major speech on the economy, laying out the attack lines of his expected 2024 re-election bid.
Biden was due to speak at a union hall in Springfield, Virginia, delivering his first major economic speech of the year, a White House official said.
The Democrat, who at 80 is already the oldest person ever in the US presidency, has not yet announced whether he will seek a second term.
However, a decision is expected soon and the timing of US economic resurgence from the Covid-19 pandemic shutdowns appears to be working in Biden’s favor.
“He’ll highlight the significant economic progress we’re seeing under his leadership,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Only a few months ago, Biden looked deeply vulnerable as the highest inflation in four decades ate into Americans’ savings and salaries, while economists sounded increasingly pessimistic on the prospects of avoiding a recession.
The latest data on Friday showing GDP expanded 2.1 percent in 2022, with a stronger than expected surge in October to December of 2.9 percent, gave ammunition to Biden administration officials who argue that they have instead managed to steer the world’s largest economy out of danger.
Likewise, inflation has been slowly but steadily dropping from highs through six straight months.
Biden will tout those figures while attempting to paint Republicans and their newly sworn-in majority in the House of Representatives as extreme.
“The president will outline the biggest threat to our economic progress: House Republicans’ MAGA economic plan,” the official said, referring to the right-wing Make America Great Again movement led by defeated former president Donald Trump.
Polls show Biden remains unpopular — with only a 42 percent average approval rating. There is lukewarm enthusiasm, even among Democrats, for him to seek a second term, which he would complete at the age of 86.
But with hard-right Republicans holding sway in the House and Trump already campaigning to try a comeback in 2024, Biden’s calculus is that he will be able to repeat his feat of 2020 when Americans opted for his centrist message.
To underline his economic credentials, Biden will announce what the White House is calling an “Invest in America Cabinet” comprising the secretaries of commerce, labor, transportation, treasury, energy, health and the environment, an official said.
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