Biden bashes Republicans in presidential campaign-style rally in Philadelphia

President Joe Biden speaks at the Democratic National Committee Winter Meeting, Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

President Biden on Friday evening slammed Republicans at a Democratic National Committee event in Philadelphia that appeared very much like a presidential campaign speech, but the president has not officially announced his reelection bid.

“I know the Republicans ran on inflation last year — I didn’t know they were trying to make it worse,” the president said in remarks at the Democratic National Committee Winter Meeting.

In a speech that looked a lot like a stump speech in front of a “Biden-Harris” backdrop, Biden rallied the room alongside Vice President Harris to chants of “four more years.”  He criticized recent proposals by Republicans, like a bill that would limit presidential ability to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and another to impose a national 30 percent sales tax. 

“It’s not going to happen. I’m going to veto the sucker,” he said, adding that he has a veto pen also to stop Republicans from cutting Social Security, Medicare, and imposing a national abortion ban.

Although Biden hasn’t officially announced a reelection campaign, his now-former chief of staff Ron Klain squashed any lingering skepticism over whether the president will seek another term when he said at a chief of staff transition event on Wednesday that he looks forward to being by Biden’s side when he runs in 2024. Biden’s trip with Harris to Philadelphia comes days ahead of the State of the Union address on Tuesday.

“These aren’t conservatives,” he told the crowd in Philadelphia, echoing his line from the midterm campaign that this is “not your father’s Republican party.”

“They are disruptive people. They intend to destroy the progress we made,” he added.

The president also said he wants to work with Republicans and mentioned negotiations over raising the debt limit following his meeting with Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) earlier this week. Biden and White House officials have said Congress should raise the debt limit without conditions, while some Republicans have argued any vote to raise the debt ceiling should include cuts to government spending.

“If Republicans want to work together to find real solutions … I’m ready,” he said. “I’m not going to let anyone use the full faith and credit of the United States as a bargaining chip.”

Tags 2024 presidential election abortion ban Biden Biden administration debt ceiling Democratic National Committee DNC Winter Meeting Joe Biden Kamala Harris Kevin McCarthy medicare Pennsylvania Philadelphia ron klain sales tax social security State of the Union strategic petroleum reserve

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