Arab and Muslim leaders slam Biden for refusing to meet them in Michigan to discuss a Gaza ceasefire and accuse him of keeping trip details ‘secret’ to avoid protesters as he takes selfies in a restaurant
- Donald Trump has led Biden in four consecutive polls in the state
- The White House was asked if secrecy was an effort to avoid protesters
- Biden visited black-owned business and union hall
President Joe Biden took selfies in a black-owned sports bar and met with union workers on a campaign trip to Michigan on Thursday, but couldn’t escape the Gaza war controversy when he was accused of shielding his movements to avoid protesters not.
The president smiled with patrons at They Say, a sports bar where patrons had their eye on NFL pre-Super Bowl hype and Iowa basketball star Caitlin Clark.
It was the site the Biden-Harris campaign chose for a meeting with faith leaders, on a day when it also held an event at a UAW union hall in Warren, days after winning the endorsement of the powerful union got
He was joined by UAW President Shawn Fain, who gave a rousing speech last week where he said Biden, who joined the union during the strike, “deserves” the endorsement.
The White House said he was in “regular contact” with Muslim and Arab leaders when asked why Biden did not meet with Arab American groups during his visit to Michigan. He visited a black-owned bar and a union hall
The details of the locations he would visit were kept under wraps on the president’s official schedule, prompting questions from White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about whether the secrecy was a plan to avoid protesters.
Khalid Turaani, whose group ‘Abandon Biden Campaign’ is demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, complained that he was in the dark about the location of Biden’s events.
“I believe Biden has failed his constituents on such a monumental scale that he is afraid to meet with them in a public forum,” he said. Detroit News. Either way, the optics are embarrassing for him.’
“Why not have a meaningful conversation about how you change course with a community that has first-hand accounts of what it’s like to live in the countries where your decision-making unfolds?” said Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud.
Biden has been accused of keeping his movements secret to avoid protests like the kind that plagued him at fundraisers and political events during Israel’s war against Hamas
His city contains one of the nation’s largest Arab American communities, amid the prospect that Biden’s support of Israel in its war against Hamas in Gaza could cost him political support in the state.
Michigan was part of Biden’s ‘Blue Wall’ in 2020. Donald Trump carried it in 2016.
Asked if Biden would meet with Arab American or Muslim leaders during the visit, Jean-Pierre replied: “The president met with Americans with different opinions on the conflict between Israel and Hamas,” and said that White House officials in ‘regular contact with Muslim’ was. and Arab American leaders in Michigan across the country.’
She said administration officials will travel to Michigan in February to “hear directly from community leaders about a range of issues that are important to them and their families, including the Israel-Gaza conflict.”
Polls show that Biden’s support among younger voters is falling amid disapproval of his handling of Israel’s war in Gaza.
On Thursday, he signed an executive order providing for new financial sanctions against Israeli settlers who have gone after Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.
At the union hall, Biden presented his economic agenda. “To me, it’s a basic, basic thing, and I mean it sincerely. Wall Street didn’t build the middle class. Labor built the middle class, and the middle class built the country,’ he said.
“We’re going to fight like hell and we’re going to make sure that Joe Biden is the next president,” Fain said.
Donald Trump has led Biden in four consecutive polls in the state.