President Joe Biden delivers speech in Chicago on economy, attends fundraisers

ByMaher Kawash WLS logo
Wednesday, June 28, 2023
Biden touts economic plan, pushes 2024 campaign in Chicago
President Joe Biden touted his economic plan and pushed his 2024 campaign in Chicago Wednesday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- President Joe Biden arrived in Chicago Wednesday morning and gave a speech on the economy at the Old post Office.

Gov. JB Pritzker, Mayor Brandon Johnson and Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth greeted him as he arrived.

The president is making a push to sell people on his economic plan, also known as "Bidenomics."

Biden spoke on economics in Chicago Wednesday.

The administration is using that term to highlight their economic progress to this point as well as plans going forward to help rebuild the economy from the middle out and bottom up.

"I'm here in Chicago today to talk about the economic vision for this country. The economy that grows from the middle out, the bottom up, instead of just the top down, when that happens, everybody does well," Biden said.

President Biden's office said that's not a new concept, as he has articulated this philosophy in nearly every economics-related speech he gave in 2020 and as president.

Biden's three-pronged plan, with an eye on next year's Democratic National Convention in Chicago, is a political rebranding of what his administration has already been doing with investments in infrastructure, like roads and bridges.

On Wednesday, the White House announced $67 million in grants for three Illinois projects that include upgrades at the 95th Street Red Line station for electric buses.

Biden said his plan focuses on improving job opportunities and lowering costs for things like prescription drugs and bank overdraft fees.

"Bidenomics is about the future. Bidenomics is another way of saying restore the American dream," the president said. "And I'm not here to declare victory in the economy. I'm here to say we've got a plan that's turning things around incredibly quickly. We have more work to do."

Biden attacked the Republican approach to the economy once known as Reaganomics.

"Trickle-down approach failed the middle class. It failed America. It blew up the deficit and increased inequity and it weakened our infrastructure," he said.

Republicans are critical of Biden's promises with an election next year.

"It looks like Biden and Pritzker have decided to double down on tax and spend policies. And if Chicago and Illinois is their idea of Democrat success story, then our country is in more trouble than I thought," Illinois Republican Party Chair Don Tracy said. "Biden's favorable ratings are obviously very poor, basically, when it comes to his handling of the economy, so he's trying desperately to, to boost that."

Illinois Lt. Gov. Julianna Stratton said she believes Bidenomics is already helping people in Illinois.

"That is making sure that we not only rebuild our roads and bridges but also create jobs and that is something we have certainly benefitted from right here in Illinois, hundreds of thousands of jobs, good paying jobs, some of them that don't even require a college degree," Stratton said. "That's the way we continue to build our economy."

The lieutenant governor and Gov. JB Pritzker joined President Biden later Wednesday afternoon with some fundraising efforts going for the president's 2024 run.

He met with donors at the JW Marriott before he left the city Wednesday evening.

The luncheon was hosted by Pritzker and First Lady MK, and about 200 attended.

Another meet-and-greet was hosted by high-profile Chicago trial lawyers.

Outside the hotel, a group of protesters gathered with signs critical of Biden for issues related to fossil fuels.

Biden told the audience he inherited a mess, and he asked them to help him finish the job.