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President Joe Biden returns to Michigan ahead of NAACP speech

Craig Mauger, The Detroit News on

Published in Political News

President Joe Biden has landed back in Michigan, where he'll campaign in Detroit and deliver a Sunday keynote address at an annual NAACP dinner.

Biden, a Democrat who's being challenged by Republican former President Donald Trump in the November election, is spending much of the day reaching out to Black voters. On Sunday morning, before traveling to Michigan, he delivered the commencement address at Morehouse College, a historically Black college in Atlanta.

Air Force One landed at Detroit Metropolitan Airport at about 1:10 p.m. Biden was greeted on the tarmac by a group that featured Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, state House Speaker Joe Tate, D-Detroit, and U.S. Rep. Shri Thanedar, D-Detroit.

On Sunday night, Biden is scheduled to speak at the NAACP Detroit Branch's 69th annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner at the Huntington Place convention center. In an interview last week, the Rev. Wendell Anthony, president of the NAACP Detroit Branch, said he believes Biden recognizes the significance of Detroit.

“Anybody, any party, whether you are a Democrat, Republican or independent, needs to not take for granted the African American community," Anthony said.

Black voters helped Biden win the Democratic nomination and the general election in 2020.

He scored 240,936 votes in Detroit on Election Day in 2020, defeating Trump in Michigan's largest city, 94%-5%. About 78% of Detroit's population is Black, according to U.S. Census data. Despite there being no proof of systemic voter fraud in Detroit, in the days after the 2020 election, Trump labeled Detroit "totally corrupt" and said there had been an improper dump of votes there.

 

Some Democrats are concerned that voters in Detroit won't turn out for Biden the same way this fall in a rematch with Trump, potentially providing a path for the Republican to flip Michigan.

In a statement, Janiyah Thomas, the Trump campaign's Black media coordinator, said Biden was "on a pandering tour because he knows what we all know: without the Black vote, there is no Democrat Party."

"Today, Black voters can see through what Joe Biden is trying to sell because they know, like all Americans, that inflation is eating away at wages, the border is in chaos, and in big blue cities, Black children are trapped in unsafe neighborhoods and failing schools," Thomas said.

Sunday's visit marks Biden's third campaign stop in Michigan of 2024. He met with supporters in Saginaw County in March, and he spoke at a United Auto Workers hall in Macomb County in February.

Biden defeated Trump by about 154,000 votes in Michigan in 2020, 51%-48%.

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©2024 The Detroit News. Visit detroitnews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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