Biden will visit Alabama Lockheed Martin facility to spotlight Ukraine response
President Biden will travel to Alabama next week to visit a Lockheed Martin facility producing Javelin anti-tank weapons systems that his administration is sending to Ukraine to help fend off the Russian invasion, the White House announced Wednesday.
The trip, scheduled for next Tuesday, is an unusual move by the White House to use a domestic trip to spotlight the administration’s foreign policy maneuvers.
Biden’s focus on Russia’s war in Ukraine, which recently entered its third month, has complicated his efforts to promote his domestic agenda around the country. After a monthlong pause in domestic travel, Biden’s trips across the country have recently picked up again with stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, Oregon and Washington.
Tuesday’s visit to Alabama will be Biden’s first to the deep-red state as president. It’s unclear if the trip will include more than a stop at the Lockheed Martin facility.
The U.S. has ramped up its military assistance to Ukraine in recent weeks, sending heavy weapons to Ukrainian forces as Russia shifted its attacks away from Kyiv and toward Ukraine’s east and south. Biden announced another $800 million in security aid to Ukraine last week and said he would ask Congress for an additional supplemental assistance package this week.
Polls have shown support for individual steps that Biden has taken to respond to Russia’s invasion, but that support has not seemed to translate into backing for Biden’s overall response to the crisis.
An Associated Press-NORC poll released earlier this month, for example, found that 54 percent of Americans believe that Biden has not been “tough enough” in his response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
While Biden has given a handful of speeches from the White House and Europe on his response to the war, the domestic trip will offer him a different kind of opportunity to communicate to the public about what his administration is doing.
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