Joe Biden‘s commitment to blue collar workers has been called into question after his infrastructure tsar listed climate change and equity before mentioning helping industrial workers in a new interview.
Speaking on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday as Biden flew to Kansas City to promote the $1.2 trillion bill, Landrieu said he had met personally with 30 mayors and had reached out to every Governor in the US to discuss the infrastructure plan.
‘What the president’s asking us to do is use this policy to rebuild the country,’ Landrieu said. ‘This is a three, five, ten-year proposal…Look, we’re going to build a better America’
‘We need to think about climate. For those of us that are from the south, we know this really, really well. Of course resilience, and building back in a way that’s stronger and better.
‘Also, for communities that have been left out, he said secondly, equity is critically important. We cannot leave anybody behind,’ the former Mayor of New Orleans said
Landrieu continued: ‘Third, blue-collar jobs, so he wants labor involved in this in a big way with workforce training. And then he said he wants to rebuild America’s industrial base by investing in Made in America products.’
Speaking on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday as Biden flew to Kansas City to promote the bill, infrastructure coordinator Mitch Landrieu said he had met personally with 30 mayors and had reached out to every Governor in the US to discuss the infrastructure plan
.@POTUS said ¿we¿re going to build a better America¿ we need to think about climate¿ resilience¿ equity¿ blue collar jobs¿ and rebuilding America¿s industrial base by investing in Made In America projects.¿ ¿ Mitch Landrieu ahead of POTUS¿s trip to Kansas City today pic.twitter.com/UeILZ2TNEQ
— marielsaez46 (@marielsaez46) December 8, 2021
The mention of blue collar jobs third is likely to alarm working class Democrats, many of whom were lured by the president’s tales of growing up in the industrial town of Scranton, Pennsylvania, which he claims gives him an affinity with ordinary Americans.
‘Equity’ is a new buzzword that the Biden administration has taken to using instead of equality. It means helping everyone to achieve the same outcome, rather than giving them all the same opportunity. The term is also heavily-associated with woke practices including anti-racism lessons in schools, and could further damage Biden’s standing among centrists.
Landrieu said the US the president firmly believed in ‘one team, one fight,’ and the administration was trying to include every leader in US cities and states, regardless of their party.
During the MSNBC segment, Landrie said: ‘My first job is to try to make sure that the cabinet is one team, one fight, and we are communicating with the governors and we are communicating with the mayors.’
‘So I’ve spent the last couple of weeks really reaching out. I’ve reached out to talk, to text or left a message for every governor in the country. I’ve talked to 30 mayors personally. I’ve talked to the National Mayors Association.’
‘The president says, ”look, one team, one fight, one mission.” Number two, he said, ”look, when I did this with president Obama, you know, I was pretty good at it,” and he was.’
Landrieu also talked about the expectations placed on the administration to distribute the $1.2 trillion, mentioning that the complication was that ‘everybody wants [us] to hit the ground tomorrow.’
It passed the house last month, although centrist Democrat Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have both continued to voice opposition over fears of inflation.
‘But what he said…is really important because, you know, whenever you throw a lot of money and stuff if you do it too fast you can kind of get out of the way. But if you do it right, it takes a little bit longer,’ he said.
Earlier in the summer, Biden said unemployment incentives were keeping people from rejoining the workforce and told a restaurant owner in Ohio at a town hall in May: ‘We’re ending all of those things that are things keeping people from going back to work.’
He also told the restaurant owner that he’d have to increase wages if he wanted to entice people back to work.
Some Republican states ended COVID unemployment benefits early in an effort to incentivize people to return to work.
Landrieu said blue-collar jobs came on third for Biden, despite his relentless political branding ahead of last year’s election, which painted him as a small-town guy from Scranton, Pennsylvania, who would ride the train from Delaware to work in DC every day, and whose pledge was to create more blue-collar jobs for the American working class
President Joe Biden signs the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act as he is surrounded by lawmakers and members of his Cabinet during a ceremony on the South Lawn at the White House on November 15
In September, more than 7million Americans lost federal unemployment benefits and an additional 3million stopped receiving a $300 weekly boost on checks as emergency COVID payments expired.
Meanwhile, private companies in the US added 534,000 jobs last month while the unemployment rate fell to 4.5 percent, despite worker shortages remain a challenge.
On Wednesday, Biden flew to Kansas City to highlight the bipartisan credentials of the new $1.2 trillion infrastructure law – lavishing praise on Republicans and vowing to create an ‘infrastructure decade.’
‘Guess what, it’s going to be an infrastructure decade,’ he said, mocking former President Donald Trump‘s repeat ‘infrastructure weeks’ – which often coincided with a scandal.
‘No more talking, action,’ the president added.
He began his speech at Kansas City Area Transit Authority by honoring the late son of Russell Kansas, Bob Dole, a Republican who spent 37 years in the Senate – a year longer than Biden.
He praised Dole’s ‘both physical and moral courage’ and called him ‘among the greatest of the great generation,’ calling the former Senate leader, who died Tuesday, a ‘cherished friend to me and my wife, Jill.’
Dole was just one of the Republicans Biden tipped his hat to.
Throughout the day, he made a point of name-checking Republicans, touting a bipartisan accomplishment as he tries to push another measure through the Senate on a party-line vote.
He greeted the state’s GOP governor, Mike Parson, and spent about seven minutes on the airport tarmac with Parson and his wife, first lady Teresa Parson.
President Joe Biden gave an address on infrastructure on Wednesday, making a trip to a bus facility in Kansas City, Missouri
President Joe Biden (left) talks with Will Howard, the president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1287 during a tour of the bus repair garage at the Kansas City Area Transit Authority
Signs reading ‘Better Infrastructure Ahead’ and ‘Building a Better America’ adorned the room where President Joe Biden gave his infrastructure speech
During remarks he mentioned Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, who voted for the plan but who Biden said ‘couldn’t be here.’ Back in D.C., the Senate is still in session.
He flew up with two Democratic House members, Reps. Emmanuel Cleaver and Sharice Davids.
He also gushed about another local hero, baseball great Buck O’Neil of the Negro Leagues’ Kansas City Monarchs.
Biden called him ‘a great ball player, the first black coach in the majors … One of the game’s greatest ambassadors and finally, finally a Hall of Famer’ – in reference to O’Neil being voted into the Hall Sunday.
‘Now if the sun shines a little brighter on Kansas City this week it’s because Bob and Buck are up there sharing a laugh with one another,’ he said of O’Neil and Dole.
Biden flew to the heartland, visiting a Democratic stronghold inside a Republican state – to tout the new bipartisan infrastructure law and its gusher of funds for roads and bridges.
Kansas City was also picked for its free bus and street car service.
Although he spoke in a bus facility, he couldn’t help but talk about trains and cars.
‘The fact is, you’re looking at Mr. Amtrak here,’ Biden said, before heading down the track of an oft-told story about his miles riding the rails.
‘If my dad were here he’d call it a misspent adulthood,’ he said about all the time he spent on trains.
Before delivering his speech, Biden toured the body shop at the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority. There were a pair of shiny electric buses on display.
He raised the alarm about Chinese manufacturers getting an edge on battery technology.
‘Right now, the Chinese are ahead of us,’ he said.
Biden pitched a new plan to spend billions upgrading the federal government fleet, with the goal of carbon-free emissions by 2030.
Biden took his black mask off a couple times when trying to make a point and be heard while meeting with local officials.
He was most emotive when talking about battery technology and cars.
‘We got a whole lot of money for electric batteries … battery capacity’ in the bill, Biden said.
The conversation naturally turned to electric cars, and Biden referenced his recent test drives.
‘And by the way – quick,’ he said, turning to car talk.
Biden’s speech came in a bus facility decked out with metal street-style signs that said ‘Building a Better America’ – his new slogan.
Biden pulled down his mask at points during the tour Wednesday of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority
During the tour, President Joe Biden warned that China was moving ahead of the U.S. on battery technology for electric cars
Some said ’46’ in a route sign style.
An official told DailyMail.com local officials at the Public Works Department were able to make them last night, and that Biden signed a few of them on his trip.
Biden was introduced by both Davids and Cleaver.
Davids stopped her introductory remarks to announce, ‘OK, there’s a spider on the podium. This happened at the last infrastructure [event], I’m not kidding.’
Cleaver stepped in for an assist.
‘Cleaver has saved my life once again,’ Davids said to laughs.
Cleaver called the infrastructure law a ‘big working deal,’ a riff off of then Vice President Biden’s profane utterance to President Barack Obama after he signed the healthcare law.
‘I tell you what, I don’t know where that phrase “it’s a big deal” comes from,’ Biden said when he took over the podium.
He quickly told the audience the origin story, explaining he purposely whispered it to Obama in a way he thought the media’s mics wouldn’t hear it.
‘How in God’s name anybody heard it, I have no idea,’ Biden said.
The president recalled getting in the Beast afterward with Obama, after Biden’s ‘big f**king deal’ comment had gone viral.
‘He was laughing like the devil, it’s almost hysterical,’ the president recalled.
‘You’re just lucky my mother’s not alive,’ he told Obama. ‘I’d be a dead man.’
The White House launched a new website to promote the infrastucture law
Promotional campaign includes new slogan: Building a Better America
The White House invites people to share their stories
Biden has been on a promotional tour to draw attention to his $1 trillion program to invest in infrastructure. He’s also made stops in New Hampshire, Michigan and Minnesota.
White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said the Kansas City trip will demonstrate ‘how the president is following through on his promise to forge bipartisan consensus and prove our democracy can deliver big wins for the American people.’
The White House is eager to promote the infrastructure law as part of the series of the president’s accomplishments they are highlighting ahead of the 2022 midterm election.
Democrats are trying to fend off Republican attempts to take control of the House and Senate next year.
The White House also launched a new website, Build.gov, to describe the law and a new branding phrase, ‘Building a Better America,’ to promote it.
The site features an eye-catching new logo and invites people to share their story ‘about how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will impact you and your community.’
Additionally, Biden is trying to get the Senate to pass his ‘Build Back Better’ social spending and climate change bill.
It’s unclear if he has the votes to do so.
He brought up that bill in Kansas City too – primarily selling it on its promise to reduce the cost of childcare.
‘I could no more afford full-time childcare than fly,’ he said of his own experience – linking it back to his choice to use Amtrak to commute between D.C. and Delaware.
Biden again whispered into the microphone asking the rich to ‘pay your fair share,’ which is how the $1.75 trillion bill will be financed.
‘I’m a capitalist. I always have been. I’m a good friend of Bernie’s but we disagree. I’m not a socialist I’m a capitalist,’ Biden also said.