China hosts Arab leaders at summit focused on trade and the Israel-Hamas war

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“Are you in?” Biden and Harris appeal to black voters and warn against a second Trump term

PHILADELPHIA: President Joe Biden renewed his election-year appeal to black voters on Wednesday, sharply criticising Donald Trump’s “MAGA lies” and saying the winner of this year’s White House race will make crucial decisions, including on Supreme Court nominations, that could impact the country for decades.

In a joint appearance at a boarding school in Philadelphia, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris thanked black voters in Pennsylvania and elsewhere for being key to their 2020 victory and made clear that their agenda had had a tremendous impact on improving the lives of black voters.
The Democratic president also argued that a “crazy” Trump was spreading misinformation in an attempt to win back the White House.
“I’ll be damned if I’m going to let Donald Trump turn America into a place of anger, resentment and hatred,” Biden said, calling on the crowd to help him and Harris win a second term. “My question is simple: Are you in?”
At Girard College, whose students are predominantly black, Biden warned of the threat he said a second Trump presidency would pose, pointing to some of the racial controversies the likely Republican nominee had stoked during his lifetime.
“This is the same guy who tried to tear gas you when you peacefully protested the killing of George Floyd. The same guy who still finds the Central Park Five guilty even though they were acquitted,” Biden told the crowd. “He’s the landlord who turns down housing applications based on the color of your skin.”
The visit to Philadelphia was the start of what the Biden campaign describes as a summer-long effort to engage black student organizations, community groups and religious centers. It reflects, in part, how much their support for him has waned as Trump tries to gain traction with the longtime Democratic electorate.
The issue of abortion rights and the judiciary was also addressed in Biden and Harris’ remarks. Biden promised to codify the protections of Roe v. Wade, the now-overturned Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion rights, if he and enough Democratic lawmakers were elected. Harris, on the other hand, noted that Trump had made a dramatic mark on the Supreme Court as she invoked the name of Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court justice.
Trump, she said, “picked three members of the Supreme Court – the Thurgood Court – with the intention that they would overturn Roe v. Wade,” the landmark abortion law ruling. “And as he intended, they did.”
“It matters who sits in the White House,” she said.
Biden later underscored this point, saying the next president will “be able to appoint some judges” and that since some Supreme Court vacancies are open, he can “appoint truly progressive judges like we’ve always had.”
“Tell me this won’t change your life,” he said.
According to a March poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, Biden’s approval rating among black adults has fallen from 94 percent at the beginning of his term to just 55 percent.
The economy has been a particular thorn in Biden’s side since 2022, when inflation hit a 40-year high. But there have also been recent signs of discontent in the black community over Biden’s handling of the seven-month war between Israel and Hamas.
Black voter turnout could be critical to Biden’s chances in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which are expected to be among the most hotly contested states. Biden beat Trump in all six states in 2020, but this year could be more difficult for him.
Trump has presented himself as a better president than Biden to black voters. At a rally in the Bronx last week, he railed against Biden on the immigration issue, saying “the biggest negative impact” of the influx of migrants in New York is “against our black population and our Hispanic population, who are losing their jobs, losing their homes, losing everything they can lose.”
The Republican National Committee focused its criticism of Biden’s stop in Pennsylvania on gasoline and food prices under Biden’s presidency.
“No matter how much Biden lies, he can’t get Pennsylvanians to support him – his approval ratings are abysmal,” said RNC Chairman Michael Whatley. “President Trump continues to lead in the polls in Pennsylvania and across the country. Pennsylvanians are ready to make America great again, and they will vote for President Donald J. Trump in November.”
The Biden team wants to use the new engagement initiative, among other things, to remind black voters of some of the Democratic administration’s accomplishments during his time in office. On Wednesday, Biden repeated the refrain “because you voted” as he rattled off a litany of his accomplishments for black Americans, including record funding for historically black colleges and universities, the cancellation of federal student loan debt and pardons for simple marijuana possession.
“Black voters have put tremendous trust in me,” Biden said. “I’ve tried to do my best to justify that trust.”
Biden later visited with black business owners at the SouthSide event center and greeted supporters there as he continued to tout his service to black voters and, in particular, the economic successes under his presidency. At the more intimate gathering, co-hosted by the African-American Chamber of Commerce of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, he also stressed to the crowd, “There’s not a damn thing a white man can do that a black man can’t do or do better.”
According to the latest federal data, the black unemployment rate is 5.6 percent. It averaged about 8 percent from 2016 to 2020 and 11 percent from 2000 to 2015. Black household wealth has skyrocketed, and Biden’s efforts to cancel billions in student loan debt have disproportionately affected black borrowers.
Biden also points to his appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first black justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and his selection of Harris as the first black woman to serve as Vice President.
The president’s visit to Philadelphia follows a series of meetings with members of the black community in recent weeks, including hosting plaintiffs in the 1954 Supreme Court ruling that ended institutionalized racial segregation in public schools, a commencement address at Morehouse College in Atlanta and a virtual address to the Reverend Al Sharpton’s Racial Justice Conference.

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