Why did Biden make inroads into Michigan, avoiding confronting the state's Arabs and Muslims?

Washington- Unlike the practice of announcing the US President's visits to various states, where journalists are briefed on the itinerary and details of the visit, the White House marked President Joe Biden's first visit to Michigan this year as he kicked off his election campaign. Postponed it. In one of the most important swing states, which could contribute to determining the identity of the President. After the United States.

The White House justified not providing information about Biden's visit to the state by saying that the visit was political in nature, and therefore outside the scope of traditional protocol for visits by government officials.

Biden administration officials took steps to keep the details and schedule of the trip more secret than usual, as the locations of his meetings with representatives of auto factory worker unions, whose support could help Biden in his 2024 elections, were not announced. Got it for candidacy. The presidential motorcade avoided confronting those protesting the US position on Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip. Gaza resorted to side roads.

The Biden campaign did not answer questions about why the president did not communicate with members of the Arab-American or Muslim communities during his visit to the state yesterday, Thursday, at a time when they need the most of their votes next November. needed.

Voters line up to cast their ballots in front of the Dearborn Municipal Building, Michigan (Photo by Ali Harb/Middle East Eye)
Biden campaign struggles to meet with Arab and Muslim leaders in Michigan (media)

difficult mission

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday that senior Biden officials will travel to Michigan this month “to learn about a number of issues important to them and their families, including the conflict between Israel and Gaza.” Will talk directly to the workers.” He declined to say which officials would visit the state or when.

“The president held meetings with Muslim and Arab leaders. Obviously, we don't announce every meeting. White House officials here in Michigan are in regular contact with local Muslim and Arab leaders,” he said.

He said before the trip, “The White House understands that this is a very difficult time for many people, and we always emphasize that the President believes it is important for Americans to feel that “Their voices can be heard and must be done so in a peaceful manner.” behaviour.”

At the same time, President Biden's campaign is struggling to find Arab American leaders willing to meet with campaign officials. Several local leaders in Michigan declined an invitation to meet with Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez.

They included Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud, who declined to attend the meeting, saying, “This is not the time for electoral politics, and meetings about changing positions should be with policymakers, not election campaign staff.”

Jolie attended two meetings with local Arab and Palestinian-American leaders last week, and reports also indicated her meeting with Representative Rashida Tlaib, whom Biden recommended last Friday to handle the war between Israel and Hamas. Considered one of the most vocal critics of.

michigan pivot

Biden's chances of repeating his 2020 victory in Michigan have been thrown into doubt by his continued support for Israel's military campaign. Some state legislators who supported Biden's 2020 campaign have become less enthusiastic as he prepares for the 2024 race, and it's hard to imagine Biden losing the state of Michigan, whose electoral college includes If there are 15 votes, he will be re-elected.

Many have turned against Biden as a result of his staunch support for Israel and lack of sympathy for Palestinians, and some Arabs and Muslims in Michigan have launched a campaign called “Abandon Biden” as part of a broader effort. . Encouraging Arabs and Muslims nationally not to vote for Biden.

Michigan has one of the largest populations of Arab Americans in the country and is a key electoral battleground. According to the 2020 census, more than 310,000 people of Arab and Muslim descent live in Michigan, a state second only to California in terms of population of Arab descent.

Michigan is one of the swing states whose votes could go to Biden or Donald Trump. Trump won the state in 2016 and lost it in 2020, as Biden received 50.6% of the vote compared to Trump's 47.8%, a slight margin of 2.7%, or about 154,000 votes.

“We mobilized a lot of support for Biden’s election in Michigan in 2020, and we tracked 145,000 Muslim voters in the state who cast their ballots during the 2020 presidential election year,” said Nada Al-Hanouti, executive director of AmGage – Michigan Chapter. Say, an organization that works to register American Muslims to vote. “Biden has a margin of less than 155,000 votes over former President Donald Trump in Michigan. This only proves that Biden needs Muslim votes to win.”

During his election trip to Michigan, Biden avoided interacting with the Arab community angered by his support for aggression against Gaza (Reuters)

Trump appealed to angry people

The Associated Press reported that 64% of Muslims across the US supported Biden in 2020, while 35% of them supported Trump. In Michigan's predominantly Arab-American counties, Arabs voted for Biden at a rate of less than 70%.

At the same time, Trump's national security adviser, former General Michael Flynn, came to Michigan to speak to the Muslim community, asking for their support and that of former President Donald Trump.

Although Biden, in his first election trip to Michigan, avoided any interaction with the Arab-American community angered by his support of Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, senior Democrats in Michigan have been pressing him for months for more time. Putting in. Swing stage. But White House officials fear protesters will overshadow or boycott his visit.

Biden's visit was not entirely without confrontation, and while he was holding a political meeting at an African-American restaurant, a group of protesters outside the restaurant chanted “Shame on you,” “Joe Biden supports genocide.” Let's do it,” and “How many children have done it?” You kill today?” “.

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