In a campaign swing through a key suburban county Saturday morning, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden spoke at a socially distanced drive-in rally at Bucks County Community College’s Lower Bucks campus in Bristol Township before heading farther north into Pennsylvania.
Setting the stage for Biden were the Democratic candidate in the First Congressional District, Christina Finello; former Bucks Congressman Patrick Murphy; Jill Biden; and Tara Huber, teachers union president in the county’s Neshaminy School District.
Finello opened the rally by explaining what inspired her to run for office, including a goal to protect health care options for people like herself with pre-existing conditions. The Ivyland Borough Council member is running against incumbent Republican Brian Fitzpatrick, who has held the seat since 2017.
“I am going to join them in Washington next year and end the Trump agenda,” Finello said. “Just remember what happened in 2018: Southeast Pennsylvania sent four Democratic women to Congress. So let’s make history and send a fifth.”
During his speech, Biden touched on many of the same themes and messages he’s raised in past rallies and debates: President Donald Trump’s response to the pandemic, health care and the economy.
Biden said that between dealing with educational plans and a faltering economy and job market, many families, including those in Bucks, are being pushed to the brink.
“They see folks at the top doing much better,” Biden said, “while the rest are wondering, `Who’s looking out for me?’ That’s Donald Trump’s presidency.”
Although Biden spoke mostly of the country’s collective national issues, the former vice president did discuss key environmental issues affecting Pennsylvania and the Delaware Valley.
“Let me be clear, I am not banning fracking in Pennsylvania or anywhere else,” Biden said. “And I can protect Pennsylvania jobs, period.”
He also alluded to the imminent effects of climate change on the region’s waterways.
His home state of Delaware, one of the lowest-lying states in the country and facing rising sea levels, is “on the verge of being flooded,” Biden said.
“According to the best data we have, Southeast Pennsylvania including Bucks County is warming faster than any part of this state,” Biden said. “How long until floods start picking up along the Delaware River? We can do something about this. And we better get it done.”
Biden also spoke about the surging numbers of coronavirus cases nationally. On Friday, 83,000 new cases were recorded, the highest one-day total since the pandemic began.
“Well, I told him at the debate, we aren’t learning how to live with it, you’re asking us to learn how to die with it,” Biden said. “There’s going to be a dark winter ahead unless we learn to change our ways.”
He also discussed the ways in which Trump has wrongly blamed Democratic governors for virus outbreaks, when the current surge in cases is widespread among states with Republican governors, too.
“He’s saying, if you live in Pennsylvania, you’re not his problem,” Biden said. “If you live in a red state, Alabama, he may think about you. He’s not responsible for your family’s well-being if you’re in a blue state.”
Bucks is a key county for either candidate to win in battleground Pennsylvania. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won Bucks by a slim margin of about 3,000 votes. Biden was scheduled to speak later Saturday in Luzerne County, an area that voted twice for Barack Obama but overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump four years ago.
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