President Joe Biden begins two-day visit to LA, Orange County – Orange County Register

President Joe Biden landed in Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon, October 12, to begin a two-day tour of the Southland — which will include visits to Brentwood and Orange County later this week.

Senator Alex Padilla, his wife Angela, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Rep. Karen Bass greeted the President on the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport as he exited Air Force One. Under an overcast sky, the group exchanged brief chats, hugs and handshakes before Biden took off again in Marine One, a presidential helicopter.

Neither Biden nor the other elected officials in attendance stopped to make comments or address the bevy of reporters on the runway.

From LAX, Marine One landed at Santa Monica Airport where, after being greeted by the city’s Mayor Sue Himmelrich, the President’s motorcade proceeded as the 405 northbound lanes between the Santa Monica Freeway and Wilshire Blvd during the rush hour of Los Angeles were closed, according to pool reports.

Crowds reportedly gathered on the streets of the UCLA campus as the motorcade passed.

Though details of Biden’s schedule remained sparse, Biden will appear at an LA subway station in Brentwood on Oct. 13 to discuss “historic investments in our nation’s infrastructure,” the White House said.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One that Bass will be among those accompanying Biden at Thursday’s Metro event.

President Joe Biden landed in LA on Wednesday, October 12 for a two-day tour of Southern California. On the tarmac to greet him were Senator Alex Padilla, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Rep. Karen Bass. (Photo by Kristy Hutchings).
President Joe Biden landed in LA on Wednesday, October 12 for a two-day tour of Southern California. On the tarmac to greet him were Senator Alex Padilla, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Rep. Karen Bass. (Photo by Kristy Hutchings).

“Thanks to the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, we have made historic infrastructure investments in public transit projects like LA’s Purple Line,” said Jean-Pierre, “that will create jobs and opportunity, reduce traffic and pollution, and increase opportunity throughout LA.”

Biden will also attend a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser on Thursday and will travel to Irvine Valley College in Orange County on Oct. 14 to speak on cutting costs for Americans.

The President’s visit to Orange County will “highlight his efforts to reduce prescription drug costs, protect Medicare and strengthen Social Security, and combat efforts by Congressional Republicans to chop Medicare and Social Security.” and to reintroduce giveaways for Big Pharma,” says Jean Pierre.

The President last visited Los Angeles in June when he hosted the Summit of the Americas — a gathering of global political leaders. During this trip, he also led two fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee. More recently, First Lady Jill Biden visited LA last month to deliver a commencement address to Los Angeles Community College graduates, among other things.

This time, the president arrived in the region just weeks before the region’s midterm elections – in which the Democratic Party and the largely unpopular chief executive are fighting to retain a majority in both the US House of Representatives and the Senate.

In California, for example, Padilla — appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to fill the vacant seat in 2021 after Kamala Harris was sworn in as vice president — is up against Republican attorney Mark Meuser. Residents will cast two votes for the same seat on Election Day — one to determine which candidate will complete Harris’s remaining term, which expires in January; and one to decide who will serve a full six-year term through 2029.

And on the House side, Biden’s visit to LA comes as voters in northern LA County must decide whether to cast their ballot for incumbent Republican Congressman Mike Garcia or his challenger, Democrat Christy Smith, in what is expected to be a close race for representation 27th congressional district. In her last match, Garcia beat Smith by just 333 votes – a race many see as a microcosm of how purple swing districts could become. Either way, a win would be important to gain or retain a majority in Congress.

Biden’s plan to highlight the Democratic Party’s success in areas of major concern to California voters — including that party’s recent approval of a comprehensive climate and health investment package and the bipartisan infrastructure bill — is likely a political strategy designed to bolster the movement support local Liberal candidates closer to November 8th.

But soaring gas prices — California has the highest in the nation at around $6.20 a gallon — will provide an unwelcome political backdrop for Biden, who touted Congress’ anti-inflation bill as a long-term solution to rising costs of living across the country.

Such tensions fueled Republican reactions to the visit.

“President Biden visiting California means he knows what Republicans have known for months: Democrats are in trouble,” said Republican National Committee spokeswoman Hallie Balch. “From sky-high gas prices to rising crime, California Democrats have hooked their cars to the wrong agenda. Californians are fed up with the Biden agenda and the many ramifications it has brought to the Golden State.”

The president also commented on the high-profile scandal that swept the LA City Council on Oct. 11, a day before his trip to LA – and joined many officials in calling for the resignations of three council members who took part in a racist talk involved, which was taped and leaked earlier this week. The White House press secretary said Tuesday the president believes the trio should all resign.

“I spoke to him about it yesterday,” Jean-Pierre said at a White House briefing on Tuesday. “The President is glad to see that one of the participants in this conversation has resigned, but they all should. He believes they should all resign.”

LA City Council President Nury Martinez, who is at the center of the scandal, resigned Wednesday before Biden landed in LA

Joe Biden will be leaving LA on Friday night. According to the White House, he will travel to Portland, Oregon to attend a volunteer grassroots event with the Oregon Democrats.

As is usual during presidential visits, motorists should expect rolling road and freeway closures when Biden is driven through the area. Biden’s exact itineraries will never be released for security reasons.

The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report. President Joe Biden begins two-day visit to LA, Orange County – Orange County Register

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