With Rep. Mike Levin (D–CA), President Joe Biden was back in action. He delivered a message to military families and suburban voters in the Southern California district Republicans consider a prime opportunity for a pickup.
In the run-up to Election Day economic concerns have risen, threatening Democrats’ congressional majority as late-breaking votes tilt towards Republicans. According to polls, Democrats are losing ground among voters who played a crucial role in Biden’s victory in 2020, including suburban women and independents.
Biden spoke at Viasat (a satellite communications company and contractor that is based a few miles from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton), to calm voters’ concerns about the economy.
The president spoke to the crowd about a Friday jobs report and said that his administration was working hard for lower prices on everyday goods and gasoline. He reviewed recent legislation in healthcare and said he would soon be bending corporate arms to lower gas prices.
Biden jokingly said, “I’m going have a little talk with the oil companies about ‘come before the Lord’ very soon.”
Biden said, “It’s been a tough four or five years for an awful number of people in this country,” There are some bright spots where America has proven its worth. Take a look at you all and the veterans of our country. “I’ve never felt more optimistic about the future.”
Viasat was the place where Biden spoke. It provided the telecommunications services on Air Force One’s military plane. This is a great example of California innovation and acumen. Biden stated that “you all do a helluva lot in garages here”, and added that he too “wanted to relocate to San Diego and purchase a garage.”
The president highlighted the importance of the United States’s new semiconductor bill and emphasized its influence over China.
The CHIPS Act is designed to decrease America’s dependence on foreign semiconductor manufacturers. It leverages federal and corporate investments to help develop the sector here.
Biden recalled a trip to Afghanistan with his son Beau. He also shared his personal story as he pitched his efforts for veterans and military families.
The 49th Congressional District is split between San Diego County and Orange County. Rep. Darrell Issa (R–CA) represented the district for many years, until his retirement in 2018. In 2016, he won his reelection with a margin of less that 1%. Levin won the seat for 2018.
Biden gave Levin credit for helping to shepherd Democrats’ healthcare, infrastructure and semiconductor legislation through Congress. A new bill, introduced by the Democratic congressman, was also crucial in helping veterans who were exposed to burn pits overseas. Biden blames the 2015 death of his son from cancer on burn pit exposure in Iraq.
Biden’s California swing, which lasted two days, comes amid national headwinds for Democrats over crime and economic growth, even in blue strongholds. Biden won the district in double digits in 2020.
A two-term congressman, Levin is facing a stronger-than-expected challenge from Republican Brian Maryott, his opponent in 2020 and 2018, when he flipped the seat from red to blue.
The Congressional Leadership Fund, a political-action committee that is linked to Kevin McCarthy (R. CA), made another $300,000. It bought television advertising in Levin’s district in time for Biden’s arrival. Already, the group has invested $6.2million in flipping this seat.
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rated it as a toss up. It moved from “lean Democratic,” earlier in the cycle, as political groups started pouring money into the contest. Republicans began making inroads among independent and undecided voters.
Biden campaigned on Thursday night with Levin. The president gave him credit for getting federal legislation to his desk. He also said that he had helped keep police and firefighters on the force and teachers in the classroom.