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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

President Biden makes stop in Seattle, campaigns for re-election

SEATTLE – President Joe Biden landed late Friday afternoon at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to embark on a two-day campaign fundraising trip in the Emerald City.

On the tarmac, a line of local politicians welcomed Biden as he descended the steps down from Air Force One, including Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell and U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal.

Biden’s motorcade took the aviator-clad president through downtown Seattle, temporarily halting rush-hour traffic to the chagrin of many city residents who got off work in giddy anticipation for what will be the region’s warmest weekend of the year to date.

The president in his long line of cars headed north on Interstate 5 from the airport toward the downtown Lotte Hotel, where dozens of anti-war protesters met the motorcade with demands for an end to the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza that has resulted in more than 30,000 reported deaths.

“We charge you with genocide,” the protesters shouted at the president seeking re-election as he got out of a black Cadillac.

Inside the hotel, a couple of hundred people – who paid a minimum of $500 for event tickets – mingled and waited for Biden. Donors who forked over more than $25,000 to Biden’s campaign reportedly got to take a photo with the president.

Inslee kicked off the brief campaign reception with remarks praising Biden, saying the president’s work on climate change will be considered some of his finest.

The crowd gave Biden a standing ovation as he stepped up to the podium and said he was feeling optimistic about his re-election campaign.

More than 1.6 million people have donated to the president’s campaign, he said, and 90% of them gave him less than $200.

Twice in his 20-minute speech, the president suggested he might try to recruit Inslee to join his cabinet if he returns to the oval office for another four-year term.

“When we win, he ain’t staying in Washington state,” Biden said of the outgoing governor.

The president lauded Inslee’s climate legislation in his speech and told the crowd that the United States has the “most advanced economy in the world.”

A group of journalists in the balcony of the hotel’s event room had trouble making out much of what the president was saying during his speech.

One clearly audible portion of the remarks was Biden’s call for a nationwide assault weapons ban, saying guns are the leading cause of death among U.S. children.

The president also warned much is at stake in November’s presidential election should former President Donald Trump secure a victory.

“What’s at risk … is our freedoms,” he said, “and our very democracy.”

A burst of applause rang out as the audience gave Biden another standing ovation toward the end of his speech.

“Let me ask you: Are you with me?” he signed off to a roaring room.

Before he walked off the stage, he blew a kiss goodbye.

Biden will continue his campaign spree on Saturday in Seattle for one more day before he skips town. The last time the current president visited the city was in 2022 on Earth Day, when he signed an executive order intended to preserve old-growth forests.