In latest Minnesota stop for Biden campaign, first lady urges allies to ‘meet this moment’

Published 6:33 pm Sunday, April 21, 2024

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By Mark Zdechlik, Minnesota Public Radio News

First Lady Jill Biden kept the campaign focus Friday on reproductive issues and highlighted the Democratic president’s plans on education as she made a pair of Minnesota stops.

The evening events, both in Bloomington, are part of a broader push by the Biden campaign to shore up a state crucial to his reelection effort. Minnesota went for Biden by 7 percentage points over then-Republican President Donald Trump in 2020, but recent polls show a tighter race is shaping up in their rematch here.

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As part of the trip, Biden spoke at a Women for Biden-Harris event at a brewery.

“Four years ago, Republicans thought that they could flip Minnesota. They poured in their resources and they held rallies,” Jill Biden said to a crowd of about 150. “They thought that they could out organize all of you, but you proved them wrong.”

She urged them not to take anything for granted as the longest general election campaign in U.S. history unfolds. And she pushed hard on issues of reproductive rights, saying the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court ruling upending abortion protections as a rallying cry.

Later, Biden spoke at the Education Minnesota annual convention. On her way there, Biden’s motorcade drove past a group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

She told members of the state’s largest teachers’ union that she is “a proud card carrying member of the teachers union.”

Biden’s audience cheered her on as she ripped Trump and made pleas to help elect her husband to a second term as president.

“Talk to our friends and tell them about why this election is so important. Tell them what’s at stake. Sign up for phone banks and canvassing shifts,” she said. “We’re going to meet this moment as if our rights are at risk because they are as if our democracy is on the line. Because it is.”

Early on the first lady was interrupted with loud criticism by a couple of audience members upset about the Biden administration’s policy regarding Israel.