President Joe Biden showcased his vision for a prosperous economy under his leadership, while taking a playful jab at Republican opponents. With the aim of refocusing the economic debate ahead of the 2024 election, Biden positioned himself as the pro-growth president and highlighted the numerous manufacturing plants that have emerged as a result of his economic plan.
During his visit to Columbia, South Carolina, Biden toured a high-tech solar panel component factory and emphasized the positive outcomes of his investment-driven approach. “Investment is working, and factories are being built, and jobs are being created… in rural America, the heartland, all across America, in communities that have been left out and hollowed out,” he asserted.
Biden aims to win over working-class and middle-class voters residing in these neglected communities. However, recent polls indicate that his message has yet to resonate widely, with a majority of Americans expressing more trust in former President Donald Trump’s economic prowess.
Undeterred, Biden outlined his achievements and substantiated his economic strategy, proudly labeling it as “Bidenomics.” He highlighted the sustained low unemployment rate, the gradual decline of post-pandemic inflation, and the robust job creation observed under his administration.
The president underscored that these positive developments were not happenstance but were the direct result of historic government investments and incentive packages that he managed to pass through a closely divided Congress earlier in his term. For instance, the collaboration between solar firm Enphase Energy and manufacturer Flex Ltd at the South Carolina factory was made possible by tax incentives from Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which led to $60 million in investments and the creation of 600 new jobs.
The irony in Biden’s message lies in the fact that most Republicans initially opposed his substantial public spending plans, even as they now benefit from the resulting investments in their states. Mocking his Republican counterparts, Biden wryly remarked, “All those members of Congress who voted against it suddenly realize how great it is, and they’re bragging about it. As my mother would say, ‘God love them.'”
South Carolina, traditionally a pro-Republican state that has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1976, remains a significant challenge for Biden. Just a week ago, former President Trump held a large campaign rally in the state, underscoring the enduring power of his message. Republican Senator Tim Scott, who is also seeking the party’s presidential nomination, derided Biden’s efforts on Twitter, asserting that “propaganda tours won’t hide the damage Bidenomics has done to our economy. This President has delivered nothing but failure.”
Notably, no Republican officials attended Biden’s factory visit, and his motorcade encountered a group of Trump supporters, including a woman who displayed a “Women for Trump” flag and voiced her disapproval with an obscene gesture.
Despite these obstacles, Biden’s team remains confident that they can make inroads into Trump’s base by emphasizing that the manufacturing boom primarily benefits the working and middle class. By targeting disenchanted communities that gravitated toward Trump’s populism in previous elections, Biden hopes to regain their support. While current polls may not reflect widespread acceptance of his narrative, administration officials believe that as investments take root and yield tangible results, public opinion will gradually shift in their favor.
“I think people are beginning to feel the results of this,” expressed a senior administration official, highlighting the need to effectively communicate their achievements. As Biden continues to embark on visits like the recent factory tour, his administration anticipates a change in the tide, strengthening their case for his pro-growth presidency.