President Joe Biden on Wednesday contrasted his economic vision with that of so-called MAGA Republicans, including GOP firebrand Rep. Lauren Boebert, during a visit to her Colorado district.
During his speech, Biden touted provisions of his administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, which he pledged would bring jobs to the local community while issuing a blistering critique of Boebert. Biden said the controversial congresswoman is “one of the leaders of this extreme MAGA movement.”
He lit into Boebert for voting against his legislative agenda, criticizing her for comments calling the bipartisan infrastructure law “garbage” and “a scam.”
“She, along with every single Republican colleague, voted against the law that made these investments in jobs possible,” Biden said. “And then she voted to repeal key parts of this law, and she called this law a massive failure. You all know you’re part of a massive failure? Tell that to the 850 Coloradans who got new jobs. … It all sounds like a massive failure in thinking by the congresswoman and her colleagues.”
Biden and Boebert have clashed in the past and the trip to the conservative congresswoman’s district came as she faces a tough reelection bid in 2024. Earlier this year, Democrat Adam Frisch – who narrowly lost to the incumbent Boebert in 2022’s midterm elections – announced he would again mount a campaign to unseat her in 2024.
Boebert slammed Biden in a statement ahead of his visit.
“Families in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District are being crushed by so-called ‘Bidenomics.’ On Joe Biden’s watch, credit card debt, inflation, groceries, and gas prices have all reached record highs. These high prices are squeezing working-class Coloradans and rural America,” Boebert said in a statement.
She added, “Instead of touting the poorly named Inflation Reduction Act that mandated Green New Deal policies which cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars, Joe Biden should work with me to get my Pueblo Jobs Act signed into law that will create 1,000 new jobs in Pueblo and help revitalize Southern Colorado’s economy.”
The president has been at odds with Boebert in the past – in 2022, she interrupted Biden’s State of the Union address as he paid tribute to members of the armed forces who were sickened by burn pits, including his son Beau Biden who died from brain cancer in 2015. The Colorado Republican shouted, “You put them there—13 of them,” in an apparent reference to soldiers killed during the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
The congresswoman drew negative headlines in September after she was escorted out of a Denver production of “Beetlejuice: The Musical,” following complaints she and a companion were “vaping, singing, causing a disturbance.”
During his speech, the president detailed a slew of benefits Colorado has seen under the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act and the bipartisan infrastructure law while criticizing House Republicans, noting, “We haven’t gotten a whole lot of help from some members of Congress on the other side of the aisle.”
“The speaker, Donald Trump, and the MAGA Republicans here in Congress are committed to protecting outrageous tax cuts for those at the very top, and they’re going to continue to oppose investing in all those programs that help people – whether it’s in education, health care, whatever,” he warned. “I have a different view.”
Biden’s trip to Pueblo wasn’t the first time the president has brought the fight with House Republicans to their front doors. In the last year, Biden’s visited districts in South Carolina, New York and Virginia to highlight lawmakers who’ve sought to block his domestic agenda. But it comes as Americans rate the president poorly on his handling of the economy. In a Gallup poll released Tuesday, just 32% of those polled approve of his handling of the economy.
As the Republican presidential primary field narrows, Biden has increased attacks on his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, and his “MAGA Republican” allies in Congress, going so far as to warn supporters during a Washington, DC, fundraiser last month that “Trump and the MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy this democracy.”
During Wednesday’s speech, he noted that Speaker Mike Johnson and Florida Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan traveled to Sarasota, Florida, Tuesday, and touted construction of a new airport terminal made possible by funding from the infrastructure law.
“Both the speaker and the congressman voted against the law and spoke against the law – but now they’re down there taking credit for it being built,” Biden said. “As my mother would say, God love ‘em. As one of my friends back home would say, that’s real chutzpah.”
The trip to Pueblo was originally scheduled for last month as part of Biden’s “Invest in America” tour aimed at highlighting the administration’s legislative achievements while contrasting them with House Republicans’ agenda.
But the spiraling conflict following Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel prompted the White House to postpone the trip while the president attended national security meetings at the White House and later visited Israel.
During the trip, Biden visited CS Wind, the world’s largest wind tower manufacturer, pointing to the company’s new $200 million Pueblo, Colorado, facility expansion – an expansion both the company and the Biden administration have directly attributed to passage of 2022’s Inflation Reduction Act.
The visit coincides with a new report from the Treasury Department outlining the impact of the IRA — 14 investments totaling $985.5 million have been announced in Colorado since the law’s passage last year, with 99% of investment dollars headed to counties with below-average wages.
In a fact sheet shared with CNN ahead of Biden’s visit, the administration also took care to tout a series of investments in the district, including a new solar field, expanded high-speed internet for the area, a Main Street revitalization project in Delta, Colorado, and a pipeline project all made possible under the IRA and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
“These investments and jobs wouldn’t be possible without President Biden and Congressional Democrats,” an official told CNN Tuesday. “And it’s important for Americans to know that if Republicans in Congress—including self-identified MAGA Republican Representative Lauren Boebert—want to undermine their communities by taking those investments and opportunities away.”
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct the name of Rep. Boebert’s opponent in 2024. He is Adam Frisch.
CNN’s Betsy Klein contributed to this report.
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