Biden visits his childhood Scranton home and plays up working-class roots in first day of Pa. tour

Julia Terruso, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Political News

SCRANTON, Pa. — President Joe Biden described his childhood hometown of Scranton as a place that “climbs into your heart and never leaves,” as he launched a three-day long tour of Pennsylvania meant to appeal to working-class voters.

Biden has often returned to Scranton when he needs a boost or a political reset. Beneath a banner that read “Tax Fairness for All Americans,” Biden aimed to contrast his working-class roots in the city with former President Donald Trump’s more privileged background.

“When I look at the economy, I don’t see it through the eyes of Mar-a-Lago. I see it through the eyes of Scranton,” Biden told the crowd at the downtown Cultural Center.

The president, who will also visit Pittsburgh and Philadelphia this week, has increasingly fixated on his native state as essential to his political survival. The visit comes one week before Pennsylvania’s primary, a contest that will be an early test of the breadth of both candidates’ support in a critical swing state.

The president came to Scranton to call for higher taxes on the rich and to reinforce his candidacy as a fight for the middle class, as Trump spends the week in Manhattan courtroom for his first criminal trial.

“People like Donald Trump learned very different lessons,” Biden said. “He learned the best way to get rich was inherit it. Not a bad way. He learned that paying taxes was something people who work for a living did, not him. He learned that telling people you’re fired was something to laugh about.”


It’s a tactic Biden used in the 2020 campaign, which he often framed as Scranton vs. Park Avenue. His Tuesday remarks were sprinkled with a mix of personal anecdotes about growing up in the state’s sixth largest city and jabs at his opponent, who he called “Donald Herbert Hoover Trump” in reference to the president who oversaw the beginning of the Great Depression.

“Now Trump is running again on the same failed trickle-down policies,” Biden said. “Nothing has changed. Just a few months ago – at a closed-door event in Mar-a-Lago he told his billionaire donors ‘You’re rich as hell. We’re going to give you tax cuts.’”

After his remarks, Biden stopped at his old house in the Green Ridge neighborhood of Scranton, a place he has visited many times, including during the 2020 campaign, when he signed the wall “from this house to the White House by the grace of God.”

Trump — and many of his supporters — have long scoffed at Biden’s claims to the Electric City, given that he spent only a fraction of his 77 years living there. During rallies in Pennsylvania, Trump has made a point of saying Biden had “abandoned” Scranton.


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