Today: March 02, 2024
Today: March 02, 2024

Biden takes '24 pitch to South Carolina as campaign scrutinized

Share This
Biden takes '24 pitch to South Carolina as campaign scrutinized
Jeff Mason
January 08, 2024

By Jeff Mason

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden takes his pitch for reelection to South Carolina, where Black voters helped propel him to the presidency, on Monday in a visit aimed at shoring up a critical constituency whose support has waned since he took office.

Biden's trip, to the historic Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, where avowed white supremacist Dylann Roof gunned down nine Black parishioners in 2015, comes as his campaign sharpens its attacks on Donald Trump, the former president who is the frontrunner for the Republican Party's 2024 nomination.

"The president has continued to underline that we cannot forget the act of racist hate suffered by the Mother Emanuel congregation and that we must continue to stand together against those kind of sentiments as Americans," spokesperson Karine-Jean Pierre told reporters traveling with Biden.

On Friday, Biden portrayed Trump as a threat to democracy in a speech marking the third anniversary of the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters hoping to overturn the Republican's 2020 election loss.

Recent polling has shown Trump beating Biden, a Democrat, in swing states that will determine who wins the White House this year, and a Reuters/Ipsos poll in December showed a rematch would be close.

Biden's trip to the Southern state comes as some Democrats have raised questions about his reelection strategy in recent months. Some donors have been eager to hear Biden be more candid, or more aggressively target Trump rather than focus on the economy.

Jean-Pierre also criticized Trump for his comments on Saturday describing those jailed in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol as "hostages," and what she called, continuing misinformation and disinformation about that day.

"Jan. 6 was an attack on democracy. We have to continue to call that out," she told reporters traveling with Biden. "It is grotesque to make those types of comparisons."

Representative James Clyburn, a Democrat whose endorsement of Biden helped him win South Carolina in the 2020 primary, said on Sunday he was concerned about Biden's standing with Black voters and frustrated that the president's record had not resonated.

"I have told him what my concerns are," Clyburn told CNN, referring to a meeting with Biden. "I have no problem with the Biden administration and what it has done. My problem is that we have not been able to break through that MAGA wall in order to get to people exactly what this president has done."

MAGA refers to Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan. Polls show support for Biden by Black voters has softened.

Former President Barack Obama, who is concerned about Trump's potential to win in 2024, discussed the campaign over lunch with Biden before the Christmas holiday, comparing his 2012 reelection apparatus with Biden's, according to a source familiar with the meeting.

Biden has kept his long-serving senior advisers at the White House, while fellow Democrat Obama dispatched two to his Chicago-based campaign headquarters. The Washington Post reported on Saturday that Obama has told allies that Biden's campaign needs to have the power to make decisions without White House clearance.

Obama won reelection in 2012 with 332 electoral votes compared with Republican Mitt Romney, who captured 206 electoral votes. Each state has an allotted number of electoral votes; a candidate must win 270 to prevail.


Biden's trip comes as Democrats have shifted their primary calendar to put South Carolina first, leapfrogging Iowa's caucus and New Hampshire's traditional first-in-the-country primary vote.

South Carolina has not backed a Democrat for president since 1976, but Democrats believe the state's diverse population better reflects the party's voters.

The campaign is investing earlier than ever to reach voters of color, rather than parachuting in closer to Election Day simply to drive turnout, one campaign adviser told Reuters.

Biden's visit to South Carolina follows a stop there on Saturday by Vice President Kamala Harris, who urged an audience of mostly Black women church leaders, to "roll up" their sleeves ahead of the election. Harris is the first Black Asian woman to serve as U.S. vice president.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Heather Timmons and Michael Perry)


Two buildings damaged, people evacuated after 'incident' in Russia's St Petersburg, governor says

ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) - Two buildings were damaged and people were evacuated in Russia's St Petersburg on Saturday morning after local residents reported a loud explosion that blew out windows.

Oregon lawmakers pass bill to recriminalize drug possession

The Oregon Legislature has passed a bill that recriminalizes the possession of small amounts of drugs

Powerful storm in California and Nevada shuts interstate and dumps snow on mountains

A powerful blizzard is dumping snow in the Sierra Nevada as gusty winds and heavy rain hit lower elevations

Last surviving member of the first team to conquer Mount Everest says it is crowded and dirty now

The only surviving member of the mountaineering expedition that first conquered Mount Everest says the world’s highest peak is too crowded and too dirty and the mountain is a god that needs to be respected

A party like no other? Asia's richest man celebrates son's prenuptials with a star-studded bash

Tycoons from around the world, heads of state, as well as Hollywood and Bollywood stars have descended on the small western Indian city of Jamnagar where billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani is kickstarting a big fat wedding celebration for his youngest son

Haruki Murakami unveils his new short story at a Tokyo literary event

Only 1,100 lucky audience members were there to hear the yet-to-be published short story “Kaho,” read aloud by bestselling Japanese author Haruki Murakami himself


Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton beat impeachment. Now he wants Super Tuesday revenge on his foes

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton beat impeachment, and now he wants political revenge

Republicans in Idaho, Missouri and Michigan will meet to weigh in on the presidential race

More delegates are up for grabs Saturday as Donald Trump looks to get closer to clinching the Republican nomination and Nikki Haley continues seeking her first win

Ukrainian troops are rationing ammo. But House Republicans plan to take weeks to consider aid

Shortages of ammo and supplies are quickly resulting in Ukraine losing ground, U.S. congressional leaders warn

North Carolina is among GOP states to change its voting rules. The primary will be a test

North Carolina’s Super Tuesday ballot has plenty to draw voters, with primaries for governor and president in a swing state that will be among the most closely watched in November

- Advertisement -
Advertisement: Limited Time Offer