Featured photo: President Joe Biden speaks at NC&AT on April 14, 2022 (photo by Carolyn de Berry)

On Tuesday afternoon, President Biden visited Greensboro on a stop during his tour to pitch the Bipartisan Innovation Act. He landed a little later than scheduled, around 2:30 p.m. at the Piedmont International Airport where he was greeted by Governor Roy Cooper, Congresswoman Kathy Manning, Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan and Guilford County Commission Chair Skip Alston. Afterwards, Biden promptly visited NCA&T State University’s campus, first starting with a tour of science labs and classrooms by students before addressing an audience in the Alumni-Foundation Event Center. The center, which was filled to capacity, included several elected officials such as state representatives, city council members, county commissioners and the sheriff.

As Biden started his speech, he started by praising NCA&T for its beautiful campus and expressing the importance of funding HBCUs. He touted wanting to bring back manufacturing jobs to the United States, touching on industries that were formerly thriving in the area including textiles and furniture-making. Biden also touched on inflation and rising prices, both of which are top topics on the minds of Americans as the President’s approval rating hits an all-time low, around 33 percent, according to recent polls.

“Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has driven up gas prices and food prices all over the world,” Biden said. “Ukraine and Russia are the one and two wheat producers in the world, we’re number three…. Seventy percent of the increase in inflation was a consequence of Putin’s price hike because of the impact on oil prices.”

After touching on rising prices worldwide, Biden brought the focus back to Greensboro, focusing on the recent contracts the city has won including manufacturing plants for Thomas Built Buses, the Toyota megaplant, Boom Supersonic and Volvo Trucks. He pointed to the city’s success and said, “There’s not a single thing America cannot do.”

All of Biden’s comments lead up to him pressing Congress to pass the Bipartisan Innovation Act which will invest $90 billion in future jobs and industries, according to the President.

“Congress needs to get this bill to my desk,” Biden said.

Not only would the act help fund industries, the President said it would help build infrastructure that is crumbling across the country including roads and bridges in disrepair as well as expanding broadband coverage.

Towards the end of his half hour talk, Biden touched on making sure the rich “pay their fair share,” but not before claiming that he was a capitalist himself. He also expressed support for increasing funds for law enforcement departments, not decreasing them. He pushed for funds being used to hire mental health workers to assist on calls and advocated for a ban on chokeholds and no-knock warrants.

Despite speaking on a college campus, Biden did not touch on a hot topic that has been circulating amongst students and recent graduates since he was elected two years ago: forgiving student debt. Instead, he ended his speech by reciting a previous statement: “There is nothing America cannot do if we do it together.”

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