MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – President Biden arrived in South Florida Tuesday afternoon to campaign for Democrats, one week before the midterm elections.
In Florida, a state famously popular among retirees, he declared that the current crop of GOP candidates “ain’t your father’s Republican party” and said that he prayed God would deliver his opponents “some enlightenment.”
His first stop was an event at OB Johnson Park in Hallandale Beach.
After those remarks in Hallandale Beach, he was headlining a fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist and a rally for the state’s Democratic Party, including Senate candidate Val Demings. Biden also spoke at at event in Miami Gardens in which Crist and Demings gave speeches to the crowd as well. Hollywood actors Jennifer Lewis and Keegan-Michael Key were also on hand and spoke to the Miami Gardens crowd.
He dinged Demings’ Republican opponent, Sen. Marco Rubio, for failing to back his Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August by the Democratic-led Congress. It includes several health care provisions popular among elderly people and the less-well-off, including a $2,000 cap on out-of pocket medical expenses and a $35 monthly cap per prescription of insulin. It requires companies that raise prices faster than overall inflation to pay Medicare a rebate,
“Not one single Republican voted for it in the United States Senate,” Biden told a crowd at Hallandale Beach community center. “Every single solitary Republican in Congress voted against these savings, including Sen. Rubio.”
Biden’s appearances with Crist and Demings came after some of the Democrats’ most embattled candidates, including Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock and Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly, have opted not to appear with him.
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Still, the president’s advisers insist he can be helpful by talking about GOP policies they believe voters find objectionable.
Meanwhile, Republicans are bullish on their prospects across Florida as voter registration trends and demographic shifts suggest the state will continue shifting to the right.
Democrats are particularly concerned about the trend in Miami-Dade County, home to 1.5 million Hispanics of voting age. It has been a Democratic stronghold for the past 20 years, but the GOP made significant gains in the past presidential election. Republicans, including Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez, are predicting the region will turn red on Nov. 8.
Should Democrats lose Miami-Dade, it would virtually eliminate their path to victory in statewide Florida contests, including presidential elections, moving forward.
Biden has seized on Florida Sen. Rick Scott’s February proposal to sunset all federal legislation after five years, which the president says would require Congress to reauthorize Medicare and Social Security, as emblematic of what he’s termed the “ultra-MAGA” agenda Democrats are running against.
Biden, who often ends his speech by asking, “God to protect our troops” offered a salty addendum with his remarks in Hallandale Beach.
“God give some of our Republican friends some enlightenment,” Biden said.
Copyright 2022 by WPLG Local10.com – All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.