President Joe Biden highlights Bidenomics, touts manufacturing growth on visit to Maine

A visit to an Auburn manufacturing company will be his first visit to state since 2018
Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 6:48 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BANGOR, Maine (WMTW) - President Joe Biden landed in Maine on Friday in his first trip to the state since winning the White House.

Biden last visited the state in 2018 on a book tour for his memoir about his late son, Beau, who died of cancer in 2015.

Biden did not campaign in Maine before its March 2020 Democratic presidential primary, which he won, or ahead of the November general election, when he also carried the state, though his wife, Jill, appeared in Maine for him and has also returned as First Lady.

Early Friday afternoon, Mr. Biden visited and made remarks at Auburn Manufacturing Inc., a company that produces heat and fire resistant fabrics primarily with domestic-made materials.

“Wages are up after being adjusted for inflation,” Biden remarked, as he criticized trickledown economics.

“We’ve created 13 million new jobs -- more than before the pandemic, nearly 28,700 here in Maine,” Biden said.

The president says Bidenomics is strengthening the middle class: “Instead of exporting American jobs, we’re creating American jobs, and we’re exporting American products.”

CEO Kathie Leonard founded the company in 1979. When WMTW Maine’s Total Coverage visited the manufacturing facility in 2021, it had 50 employees.

“He’ll discuss how Bidenomics is revitalizing the American manufacturing and bringing investments,” White House Press Secretary Karin Jean-Pierre told reporters Thursday. “Big investments, investments that many cities haven’t seen before, as it relates to jobs, as it relates to making sure we are making things in America again.”

She said the administration has invested $1.5 billion in Maine, including $570 million to develop high-speed internet service.

Maine Governor Janet Mills, a fellow Democrat, greeted the president upon his arrival in Auburn.

Ahead of his visit, Mills said in a written statement: “My guiding belief has always been that to grow our economy, we must invest in our greatest asset: our people – a belief I know the president shares. Thanks to the President’s leadership, including his historic investments in our state, and the hard work of Maine people, our economy is growing stronger every day. Maine’s unemployment rate is at a record low, we have a near record high number of jobs, and our GDP has grown at one of the best rates in the nation. I look forward to joining the president during his visit to Maine to talk about our great state and how his policies and the innovation, ingenuity, determination, and hard work of Maine people are building a stronger, more prosperous Maine.”

In 2021, Mills developed an economic stimulus plan, approved by the Maine State Legislature, with $1 billion in discretionary federal coronavirus relief funds the Biden administration had steered to the state.

After the business visit, the president is scheduled to attend a private fundraising reception, in Freeport, for the Biden Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of the Biden campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and state Democratic parties.

Tickets for the event range from $3,300 (Friend) to $5,000 (Supporter) to $10,000 (Advocate) to $25,000 (Champion), according to the invitation seen by WMTW Maine’s Total Coverage.

The host committee includes 2020 U.S. Senate Candidate Sara Gideon and former Maine State Senate President Justin Alfond, a grandson of Dexter Shoe Company founder Harold Alfond.

Following his visit, Biden is scheduled to fly Air Force One to his Delaware home for the weekend.

Donald Trump visited Maine twice as president -- a June 2020 visit to Puritan Medical Products, a maker of coronavirus test swabs, in Guilford, and an October 2020 campaign stop in Bangor.

Biden beat Trump by 9% statewide in 2020 but won only three of the Maine’s four Electoral College votes, because Trump carried the 2nd Congressional District and secured one electoral vote, as he did in 2016, when Hillary Clinton won the state.

Maine and Nebraska are the only states that are not winner-take-all, instead awarding two electoral votes to the statewide winner and the rest to the winner of each congressional district.