President Joe Biden said he is “building back a better America than before the pandemic, with a better way with better pay, and greater dignity for working people.” This during a speech at N.C. A&T University Thursday afternoon in Greensboro. However, recent poll numbers indicate that most people in the state aren’t buying it.
Biden was joined by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and U.S. Rep. Kathy Manning, who is running for re-election in the 6th Congressional District. Boom Supersonic CEO Blake Scholl was on hand as well, after the announcement that the company would build new high-speed jets in the Greensboro area.
“From day one, every action I have taken to rebuild our economy has been guided by one principle – made in America,” Biden told the crowd at A&T. “It means using products, parts, and materials built right here in the United States of America. It means bringing manufacturing back and building the supply chains at home. It doesn’t just give lip service to buying American.”
Biden accused every previous administration of giving a hollow promise since the late 1930s, but claimed his administration is making “buy America” a reality by creating a new government department called “Made in America.” Last month Biden announced introduction of the “Buy American Act,” calling it the biggest effort in in 70 years by increasing the regulatory requirement that the amount of a product made in America goes from 55% to 75%.
“When we build more in America, it lowers the price for families,” he said. “American manufacturing is coming back. Companies are choosing to build their factories in America.”
Biden claimed to be lowering the deficit, not raising it, that his administration created 431,000 jobs in March, and 7.9 million have been created since he became president.
“More jobs in the 14 months that I have been president than any president has created in American history,” Biden remarked. He also cited unemployment is at 3.6%, down from 6.4% when he took office. He credited the American Rescue Plan and Cooper, N.C. added 194,000 jobs in the last 14 months.
Biden repeated the White House and Democrats’ message that the rising costs of food, goods, and gas is the fault of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and not his own policy decisions. Meantime, Republicans and those in the energy industry point to Biden policies like the decision to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline on day one of his presidency.
“Seventy percent of the increase in inflation was a consequence of Putin’s price hike because of the impact of oil prices, he said.” Many economists said inflation was already skyrocketing before Putin’s invasion. Most people across the country, including North Carolina, agree.
A new High Point University Poll shows North Carolinians are not buying his message. The poll showed a Biden a job approval rating of 35%. The same respondents gave Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper an approval rating of 47%.
The poll also found that North Carolina likely voters gave low scores to all major policy areas: 40% approved of Biden’s handling of COVID-19, 34% approved of his handling of education, 33% of his handling of health care, 31% approved of his handling of the environment, 30% of his handling of foreign policy and 30% for his handling of climate change. Only 28% approved of his handling of the war in Ukraine.
“Hardworking North Carolinians are sick of inflation and tired of President Biden’s excuses, U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C. said in a statement. “They see the consequences of his failed economic agenda every time they go to the grocery store and fill up their gas tank. The worst inflation in more than 40 years has been fueled by Congressional Democrats and the Biden-Harris administration recklessly spending and wasting trillions over the last 15 months.”
Biden’s visit to the state comes amid historic inflation. Wholesale prices surged to 11.2% in March, the highest level on record. Record high prices of goods and services, including the food supply, are expected to rise even higher in the months to come. Combine that with rising gas prices and possibly six additional interest rate hikes, and state lawmakers saw the comments as “lip service,” with polls showing that only 18% approve of the way he is handling gas prices, 19% for his handling of inflation and 26% of the economy in general.
N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, called Biden’s message “snake oil” in a statement out Thursday, concluding that the president could learn from the way North Carolina’s state legislature is handling the economy.
“In North Carolina, we have taken a different approach, and it’s working,” Moore said. “We cannot spend our way to prosperity. Instead of rising debt, our state has a surplus thanks to responsible spending. Because of this, and despite the hardships caused by bad Biden policies, businesses are flocking to our state, and taxpayers have more money in their pockets. Maybe the president can take a few pointers from North Carolina.”
Biden is also facing backlash for his handling of the border crisis with Mexico. He said he would eliminate Title 42 effective May 23. That policy was a measure enacted by former President Donald Trump that prohibits migrants coming into the U.S. who have recently been in a country where a communicable disease was present. Border Patrol has reported encountering one million illegal border crossers in the first six months of the current fiscal year, a number that will exceed the more than 1.7 million recorded for the entire previous fiscal year. With the elimination of Title 42, U.S. Border Patrol is bracing for a surge of migrants o nthe southern border, expecting 18,000 encounters a day.
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott made good on a promise of “bringing the border to Biden” this week when a busload of migrants from Texas border towns arrived blocks away from the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. Wednesday.
Biden rounded out his Greensboro appearance by talking about the need to increase funding for police so they could have social workers with them when they go out on calls. He also said that thanks to the infrastructure plan that he signed into law last November, 530,000 charging stations are being proposed across the country for electric vehicles, including $16 million for the stations in North Carolina, and $92 million is earmarked to upgrade airports in the state.