AUBURN, Maine — Lauding the work achieved at a textile firm right here that has fought a commerce struggle with China, President Joe Biden attacked “trickle-down economics” in a historic manufacturing area of Maine.
The journey was Biden’s first Maine journey of his presidency and a part of the Democrat’s effort to burnish his financial file regardless of political struggles forward of the 2024 election. He has been touring the nation to tout the 800,000 manufacturing jobs since he took workplace in 2021.
That is each an necessary subject and a bugaboo in Maine, which has misplaced almost half its manufacturing jobs because the early Nineteen Nineties. The state continues to be mired in a gradual transition from legacy industries to rising high-tech ones. Whereas the White Home touted 1,200 extra manufacturing jobs right here on Biden’s watch, the sector has misplaced jobs right here over the previous yr.
The president’s go to put one success story on show. He signed an government order geared toward boosting home manufacturing of products invented within the U.S. earlier than talking at Auburn Manufacturing, a textile firm that has been in a protracted battle with China over what the federal authorities has known as unfair subsidies to the corporate’s rivals.
On Friday, CEO Kathie Leonard cited Biden’s insurance policies in aiding Auburn Manufacturing, saying the roughly 50-employee agency will develop 30 p.c partially because of the president’s insurance policies, together with the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act that she mentioned are “serving to reignite the U.S. financial system.”
“I’m not right here to declare victory on the financial system. We have now extra work to do,” he mentioned in a half-hour speech. “Bidenomics is simply one other approach of claiming, restoring the American Dream. Forty years of trickle-down economics restricted that dream to the very prime.”
After touchdown at Brunswick Government Airport on Air Power One simply after midday Friday, Biden took Marine One, his helicopter, about 30 miles northwest to Auburn for the afternoon speech. He was scheduled to attend a Freeport marketing campaign fundraiser earlier than going again to Brunswick and flying to his trip dwelling in Delaware, spending about 5 hours in Maine.
His go to to Auburn was the primary by a sitting president since William Howard Taft traveled by way of the town by prepare in 1912. Biden’s route adopted a well-recognized path. Lyndon Johnson flew into Brunswick on a go to to Lewiston in 1966 on a visit remembered for his journey to a Dairy Queen in Topsham embellished with an indication saying he ate there.
It was a fast journey for Biden Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, a swing space that former President Donald Trump gained in 2016 and 2020. Auburn has particular significance as a swing metropolis that went for Trump throughout his first race however flipped to the present president in 2020.
Biden and members of his administration have traveled the U.S. this summer season to tout his financial plan and laws he has signed into regulation, together with the Inflation Discount Act and a invoice to spice up home semiconductor improvement.
Final month, the president informed an viewers in Chicago about “Bidenomics,” putting it in opposition to trickle-down insurance policies and defining it as “constructing an financial system from the center out and the underside up, not the highest down.”
He repeated that line on Friday, additionally referencing the 2001 closure of the Bates Mill textile manufacturing facility in Lewiston and the 2015 closure of the Verso paper mill in Bucksport, saying the latter website now “raises sustainable salmon” though that plant stays within the design part.
Three members of Maine’s congressional delegation — all however Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins — traveled with Biden to their state on Air Power One on Friday. They included U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a centrist Democrat who lives in Lewiston, represents the 2nd District and has been one of many president’s main critics on offshore wind and spending initiatives.
Auburn is represented by a Republican mayor together with two Republicans and two Democrats within the Legislature, and Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, in 2022. Mills, Golden, U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, and Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque spoke on the occasion on Friday.
Biden is in a troublesome spot politically. Nationally, his approval scores are mired within the low 40s. He gained Maine handily in the course of the 2020 election, however 53 p.c of Mainers disapproved of him in an April ballot by the College of New Hampshire.
Trump stays the favourite to win the Republican nomination to tackle Biden in 2024 regardless of prison costs and different authorized points, and the Maine Republican Social gathering hit the president for prime prices in an announcement on Friday.
“If he had any disgrace, the taxpayer price of this marketing campaign journey would have been donated to serving to Maine seniors afford the Biden value hike on their heating oil this winter,” Joel Stetkis, the occasion chairman, mentioned.