(PHILADELPHIA) — President Joe Biden celebrated Labor Day with remarks in front of a union crowd in Philadelphia.
Biden, who says he’s the most pro-union president in history, spoke at the Tri-State Labor Day Parade hosted by the Philadelphia AFL-CIO, which is comprised of more than 100 local unions representing 150,000 workers.
There, he touted job creation and other economic initiatives while hammering former President Donald Trump’s record in a likely preview of his 2024 reelection message.
“Bidenomics is a blue collar blueprint for America,” Biden said, referencing his sprawling economic vision to build the economy from the bottom up.
“My plan for the country is to make the economy work for people like you, because when it works for people like you, it works for everybody,” Biden told the audience, adding: “It’s working.”
Biden has struggled to convince voters on his handling of the economy, polls have shown, despite positive economic indicators. The latest jobs report, released last Friday, showed U.S. hiring and wage increases slowed in August but remained steady.
The president on Monday trumpeted the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, including 13.5 million jobs created, a historically low unemployment rate of below 4% and cooling inflation.
“You wouldn’t know from all the negative news you hear,” Biden said, calling it “one of the greatest job creation periods in American history.”
“It wasn’t that long ago that 20 million people were out of work, but you didn’t give up,” he said. “Philadelphia didn’t give up. America didn’t give up.”
Seeking to a draw a contrast with the Republican frontrunner looking to oust him, Biden criticized Trump several times throughout his speech — though never mentioned him by name.
“The last guy who was here, he looked at the world from Park Avenue,” Biden said. “I look at it from Scranton, Pennsylvania. I look at it from Claymont, Delaware.”
He compared his jobs record to Trump’s as well.
“It wasn’t that long ago we were losing jobs in this country. In fact, the guy who held his job before me was just one of two presidents in history … who left office with fewer jobs in America than when he got elected to office,” Biden said.
On infrastructure, Biden touted 800,000 manufacturing jobs added nationwide and the passage of a massive $1.2 trillion bipartisan law to upgrade outdated roads, bridges, transit systems and more. Biden said million of dollars has gone to Pennsylvania, a key 2024 battleground state, for updates to Roosevelt Boulevard, area airports and more.
“The great real estate builder, the last guy, he didn’t build a damn thing,” Biden said in another swipe at Trump. “Under my predecessor, infrastructure week became a punch line.”
Biden at the top of his speech also addressed another key issue plaguing his reelection bid: his age.
Voters and candidates have raised concerns about Biden’s age. A new poll from the Associated Press found 77% of the public said Biden (who turned 80 last year) is too old to serve another term. Only about half of U.S. adults said the same about Trump, who is 77.
“I’ll tell you what, someone said, ‘That Biden, he’s getting old,"” Biden said on Monday. “Well guess what, the only thing that comes with age is a little bit of wisdom.”
“I’ve been doing this longer than anybody and, guess what, I’m gonna continue to do with your help,” he said.
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