Yesterday, Joe Biden held virtual events in Wisconsin. In the morning, Vice President Biden and Congressman Ron Kind hosted a roundtable in La Crosse where they discussed the unique challenges facing rural communities and Vice President Biden outlined his plan for an economic recovery. In the afternoon, Biden held a virtual rally in Milwaukee where he was joined by Mayor Tom Barrett, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, Congressman Gwen Moore, and Senator Tammy Baldwin. During the virtual rally, Biden slammed Donald Trump for his failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has sent our economy spiraling and particularly hurt communities of color.
Vice President Biden also sat down for local interviews with WBAY (Green Bay), WKOW (Madison), and WISN (Milwaukee) where he discussed how Donald Trump has put the wealthy and well-connected ahead of Wisconsin families with his corrupt recovery.
Biden’s message for the roundtable audience was that rural America is at the forefront of guiding the country out of the global crisis, as it works to sustain and rebuild itself.
“Rural communities power our nation. They feed our bodies, they fuel our engines, they’re stewards that protect our lands, and we cannot sustain an economy that exacts value from them without ever sharing in the rewards,” Biden said.
Biden said his plan for small business relief would be a more hands-on approach, keeping a close eye on the distribution of dollars and providing federal guidance for businesses as they reopen.
WXOW (La Crosse): Joe Biden visits La Crosse virtually
Congressman Ron Kind introduced the former vice president before he spoke with local healthcare leaders, small business and rural farm owners from counties surrounding La Crosse.
“Farmers are in trouble and bankruptcies are real. The pain has been especially profound in rural America,” Biden said. “Rural communities power our nation. They feed our bodies and they fuel our engines. They’re the stewards that protect our lands and we cannot sustain an economy that exacts value from them without ever sharing the rewards.”
“Not one more penny should go to a Fortune 500 company. Period. Not a single penny. They don’t need it,” Biden said. “We have to keep main street open because it’s the heart and soul that makes everything beat in all of these small communities in my state and yours.”
For part of his plan, Biden would appoint an inspector general as an independent entity to oversee that money found its way into rural areas–not wealthy corporations.
Wisconsin Public Radio: Biden Slams Trump During Wisconsin Virtual Campaign Events
During the rally aimed at Milwaukee voters, which Biden participated in through a video stream from his Delaware home, he criticized Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying he has “irresponsibly downplayed and delayed action on the virus.”
Biden argued the Trump administration has mishandled the distribution of relief funds, saying more should have been done to support small businesses. He contended the president isn’t up to the task of helping the American economy through the pandemic or in its aftermath.
“He thinks he’s a builder, but he’s a destroyer of everything he touches,” Biden said. “All he’s ever done is hollow out what really matters and then slap a gold sign on the flimsy foundation.”
One of the bigger issues Biden highlighted was the need for the Affordable Care Act to stay in place, with millions of Americans facing an ongoing threat from coronavirus. As the Trump administration works to dismantle the Obamacare health insurance program, people are losing insurance tied to their employment, he said.
Biden said government should support programs that sustain basic needs — such as health care and keeping businesses open — so the country can rebuild after the pandemic.
Biden slammed Trump for failing to listen to intelligence on the threat posed by COVID-19 and for failing to provide stable leadership as thousands of Americans died. He said that the administration has cared more about the survival of big businesses than the survival of “Main Street” businesses in rural areas all over the country.
Wisconsin State Journal: Joe Biden takes aim at Donald Trump in first online Wisconsin event
Biden also referenced Trump’s endorsement of the state’s contract with Foxconn Technology Group to build a flat-screen display panel plant the president has lauded as transformative for the state, calling it “the eighth wonder of the world” during 2018’s groundbreaking ceremony.
The project has yet to live up to the state’s $3 billion deal for a $10 billion, 20-million-square-foot campus and 13,000 jobs in southeast Wisconsin. Late last year, Gov. Tony Evers’ administration told the company it no longer was eligible for tax subsidies agreed to in the original contract, creating more uncertainty for the project.
“Instead of handing over the keys of the store to help (former Gov.) Scott Walker bring Foxconn to town, trading away billions in exchange for 13,000 jobs that never materialized, imagine if we invested that in small businesses,” Biden said on Wednesday.
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Ben Wikler, Chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party
Sarah Mucha, CNN
Mike Memoli, NBC News