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Biden to goal at 'bully' DeSantis in Florida, as 2024 looms – Reuters

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WASHINGTON, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Joe Biden will for the primary time as U.S. president maintain a political rally in a state the place he misplaced in 2020, when he treks to Florida on Tuesday to stage a showdown with potential 2024 rival, fierce critic and potential Trump successor Ron DeSantis.

Biden is predicted to supply his most sharply focused assault but on DeSantis, a pugnacious governor who has used the facility of his workplace to rise to nationwide prominence by shunning COVID-19 lockdowns, mocking Biden’s age and skills, penalizing Disney World for opposing a brand new state regulation limiting dialogue of LGBTQ points in colleges, and just lately flying Venezuelan immigrants from Texas to Martha’s Winery.

Biden ought to deal with DeSantis like a playground bully and strike laborious, some Democrats say

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“I feel individuals are going to search for him to be aggressive. What DeSantis is doing is a horrible factor. And there’s no better juxtaposition than the kindness and humanity of Joe Biden than the, you understand, terrible, inhumane, bully that’s Ron DeSantis,” mentioned Jennifer Holdsworth, a Democratic political advisor.

Biden has held political occasions in Democratic strongholds like Maryland and New York in current weeks, however Tuesday’s grassroots rally in Orlando is in a state he misplaced in 2020 by roughly 3 factors and anticipated to indicate how he could construct the case for his reelection. Whereas former president Donald Trump has lengthy been thought-about the Republican frontrunner in 2024, current polls present DeSantis larger in Florida. read more

Biden will use his rally to name so-called “extremist” Republicans resembling DeSantis a menace to democracy whereas in search of to leverage anger over the Supreme Court docket’s resolution to overturn the landmark Roe vs Wade resolution that assured girl entry to abortions, in keeping with Democratic officers.

“I count on the president to throw punches. There’s no method we’re going to escape the elephant within the room,” a senior Democratic official mentioned of DeSantis.

DeSantis, whose marketing campaign didn’t reply to requests for remark, has spent the final two years attempting to show Biden right into a liberal villain for his dealing with of the COVID-19 disaster and file inflation. He has additionally questioned Biden’s psychological competence.

Biden’s ballot numbers stay underwater in Florida, and Republicans say they welcome his journey.

“The extra that Biden involves Florida, the higher it’s for the state’s Republican Social gathering,” mentioned Evan Energy, chair of the Leon County Republican Social gathering.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the International Fund’s Seventh Replenishment Convention in New York, U.S., September 21, 2022. REUTERS/Leah Millis


Democrats in shut contests within the November midterms are nonetheless outperforming Biden in polls, and a few have expressed concern that showing with the president will make their elections a referendum on his recognition.

Democratic Senate candidate Val Demings gained’t be there on Tuesday to fulfill the president in her hometown, Orlando. Her marketing campaign says this is because of commitments she has as a U.S. consultant. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist will attend the occasion.

“I feel he is nice. I feel he is doing a fantastic job. He is my pal. And I am very pleased with him. And he will give our marketing campaign an actual shot within the arm,” Crist mentioned in an interview on Thursday.

Crist trails DeSantis by a wider margin than Demings does in her race in opposition to incumbent U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, current polls present. Demings is about tied with Rubio within the fundraising race, whereas Crist goes up in opposition to an incumbent with a whopping $120 million available, the reportedly highest in any state race within the nation.

Democrats additionally say Biden’s go to will assist them management a information cycle continuously dominated by DeSantis.

“I feel it should shine a vivid mild on the state,” mentioned Crist.

One message Biden and Democratic Nationwide Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison wish to convey is that the celebration has not given up on a state that, in current occasions, has felt prefer it has given up on them. The final time a Democrat gained a presidential or Senate election in Florida was 2012.

In Florida, Republicans maintain a voter registration benefit, 5.2 million versus 4.9 million. However the variety of unaffiliated voters stands at 3.9 million, an more and more necessary a part of the voters.

“He had no selection. If he involves Florida, it is a story. If he would not come to Florida, it is a story,” mentioned one Democrat concerned in a statewide race.

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Reporting By Jarrett Renshaw and Nandita Bose; Modifying by Heather Timmons, Alistair Bell and Mark Porter

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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