Biden rallies up union members and urges the wealthy to “pay their fair share”
By: Jeremy Jin
On June 17, 2023, President Joe Biden started his reelection campaign in Philadelphia with a powerful constitutional message. His speech, delivered to an excited crowd, focused on his policies that created more jobs and supported the middle class, urging the wealthy to “pay their fair share.”
Biden's panoramic climate, tax, and healthcare package, which included reduced prescription drug prices and lower insurance premiums, formed the centerpiece of his argument for his second term.
During the rally, Biden showed spotlighted the importance of his campaign. Choosing Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a friendly union audience as his first campaign stop demonstrated their importance in his reelection bid. The city served as his campaign headquarters in 2020, and the state flipped back to Democrats after voting for Republican Donald Trump in 2016.
Before the rally, Biden focused on fundraising efforts, aiming to generate significant funds before the end of the second quarter. He held fundraisers in different states, including Connecticut, California, Maryland, Illinois, and New York. Union workers, portraying many different professions, showed their support by chanting and displaying their union logos.
While Biden didn't mention his possible Republican opponents by name during the rally, he criticized the GOP for opposing his policies.
Republicans concerned about the rising inflation rates, have become increasingly vocal in their criticism of “Biden-omics.”
"I don't know what the hell that is," President Biden said, "but it's working."
The event, which included unions representing 18 million workers nationwide, recalled then-candidate Biden opening his 2020 presidential campaign at a union hall in Pittsburgh.
That Friday, Major unions, including the AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, officially took part in Biden's campaign. By spending money to support Biden’s campaign. These endorsements, combined with the joint backing from environmental groups, created the appearance of broad support for Biden and his commitment to both workers' rights and addressing climate change through green jobs.
Throughout his speech, Biden pinpointed the importance of unions, differentiating them with Wall Street bankers and emphasizing the impact of union members on the country. He criticized billionaires for paying as little as 8% in federal taxes, reaffirming his stance on the wealthy “paying their fair share”.
Before beginning the union gathering, Biden took a helicopter tour over a collapsed section of Interstate 95, aiming his attention to infrastructure issues. Supporters expressed confidence in Biden's administration's focus on green jobs and education, noting his personal connection through his wife, Jill Biden, who is a teacher.
Overall, Biden aimed to appeal to a broad range of voters with his economic policies, pinpointing on lifting all Americans disregarding their economic status. This strategy tried to counter the economic populism that oscillated with some union members during Trump's campaigns. While some supporters understood Biden's more centrist approach, they expressed confidence in his record and believed he would win the second term, “especially if it’s against Trump”.