Biden heads to Wisconsin, where Republicans will spar in first presidential debate

U.S. President Joe Biden waves as he walks to board Marine One for Delaware from the White House in Washington, U.S., August 11, 2023.

Kevin Wurm | Reuters

President Joe Biden will be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Tuesday, a week before Republicans meet there for their first presidential debate.

The president’s visit also comes a day before the one year anniversary of the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, his signature clean energy bill. The renewable energy subsidies in the legislation have already had a direct impact on manufacturing heavy states like Wisconsin.

Biden will tour and speak at Ingeteam, a producer of onshore wind turbine generators. The company expects orders to double next year as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act, according to the White House.

“Bidenomics and [Biden’s] investing in America agenda are ushering in a manufacturing boom and attracting more than $110 billion in business investment in clean energy manufacturing,” said Olivia Dalton, a White House spokeswoman, en route to the event.

Wisconsin is a key battleground state that Biden won in 2020, but which former President Donald Trump won in 2016. Republicans will hold their 2024 convention in Milwaukee in an effort to recapture it.

Republicans will also hold their first presidential debate of the cycle in Milwaukee on Aug. 23. Trump is leading in the polls, but has not confirmed whether he will participate in the debate.

Biden is visiting Wisconsin Tuesday in his official capacity as president. But the crucial role that the state will play in the 2024 presidential election is not lost on anyone.

In an unusual move, the Biden reelection campaign also issued a statement on his Wisconsin trip, criticizing Republicans’ track record in the state.

“Voters in Wisconsin rejected the extreme, divisive MAGA agenda in 2020 and they rejected the MAGA attacks on choice just this year in their Supreme Court election,” campaign spokesman Kevin Munoz said Tuesday. “They will reject it again in 2024.”

Biden has received criticism in recent days for his handling of the Maui wildfires which killed at least 99 people. Dalton said the White House is currently having conversations about when Biden will be able to visit and survey the damage.

“We will be in Maui for as long as it takes and provide everything they need,” Dalton said.

Biden spoke with Hawaii Governor Josh Green and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell on the plane ride to Wisconsin.

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