Home Madison “I am running.” Biden seeks to reassure voters in visit to Madison

“I am running.” Biden seeks to reassure voters in visit to Madison

President Joe Biden in Madison on Friday, July 5. Photo by Omar Waheed.

“I am running and going to win again,” President Biden assured supporters in a visit to Madison after concerns arose following last month’s presidential debate. 

On July 5, President Joe Biden came out to Sherman Middle School, 1610 Ruskin St., to rally support for his reelection campaign for reelection. Concerns following the June 25 presidential debate caused a swirl of uncertainty over his ability to win another term and lead the country due to declining mental facilities. With pressure to drop out, Biden said, “I’m staying in the race,” and expressed strong certainty that he will win.

“There’s been a lot of discussion about my age. I know I look 40,” Biden joked. “I keep seeing all those stories about being too old. Let me say something — I wasn’t too old to create over 15 million new jobs, to make sure 21 million Americans are insured under the Affordable Care Act.”

The crowd cheered at the remark as Biden works to reinstill confidence in voters. His remarks, and that of other speakers at the event like Gov. Tony Evers and Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, pushed to remind voters of what the Biden Administration has accomplished throughout his presidency.

The stop comes amid continued efforts to secure Wisconsin in this year’s presidential election. Wisconsin, a swing state that has been vital in past few elections, has seen multiple visits from Bide and Vice President Kamala Harris, who have come out multiple times this year to tout efforts to bolster the economy through revitalization of trades, support small businesses, reduce inflation and student loan forgiveness along with funding clean energy, broadband and infrastructure.

Biden said if elected again he plans to restore Roe V. Wade, childcare affordability and make billionaires “start to pay something beyond 8.2% [sic].” He also took the chance to take a shot at former Donald Trump as he stated what it takes to be president.

“You can’t be pro-insurrectionist and pro-American at the same time. You can’t love your country only when you win,” he said. “It’s about the President’s decency, integrity. Do they respect you? Do they incite violence? Can they honor an oath to the Constitution and uphold the rules of law? Well, I don’t think this is an exaggeration. Yes, Trump has failed on every one of these characters.”

Supporters said he inspired confidence and hope in the President following the rally. One attendee, Kathy Hanke, a teacher in Janesville, finds herself “extremely optimistic.”

“I think people are figuring out who does the work and who’s not doing the work, and what the work, his work, Biden’s work is going to be for us, or Trump’s work is for him and him alone,” Hanke said.

Hanke is especially paying attention to efforts around education, both federally and statewide.

Another attendee, Leon Bettis, sees the bounce back from the presidential debate in the rally and stands 100% behind Biden, he said.

“Did you see the way he responded? He was way more energized than I’ve seen in that debate,” Bettis said.

Call for a ceasefire continues

Protesters called for a ceasefire in Gaza outside the Biden rally Friday. Photo by Omar Waheed.

Outside of the rally, a protest was held calling for a ceasefire in the ongoing war in Gaza. Around 75 protestors waited at the intersection of Sherman Avenue and MacPherson Street. Protestors said that their stance on voting for Biden is clear this coming election if a ceasefire is not met.

“It’s pretty clear that President Biden is here to reassure his base, mostly that he can win this. We’re here to say that they should not be reassured. They should be terrified. They should be afraid,” a representative from Students for Justice in Palestine said. “We have made our stance very clear over a year ago about how we feel about Joe Biden and his party has decided to ignore us until he has fumbled so badly that now he has to do basically an apology tour about how badly he fumbled.”

The protest later marched around towards the back of the school on Ruskin Street after most left. They were met with jeers from lingering Biden supporters after the rally’s end with one passerby walking up to a protester with a phone pointed in their face to say, “Go to Gaza and get a ceasefire yourself.”