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Tampa Bay area Democrats prepare for President Biden’s appearance


Tampa Bay area Democrats prepare for President Biden’s appearance

Apr 23, 2024 | 1:17 pm ET
By Mitch Perry
Tampa Bay area Democrats prepare for President Biden’s appearance
A crowd forms inside of the Dale Mabry campus of Hillsborough Community College in Tampa ahead of President Joe Biden's scheduled speech (photo credit: Mitch Perry)

In just a few hours, President Joe Biden will make his first full-fledged campaign stop in the Sunshine State.

He is scheduled to speak in Tampa at about 3 p.m. at Hillsborough Community College’s Dale Mabry campus, where he last appeared as a candidate running for president in September of 2020.

Among those already spotted in the crowd is suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren, who announced last week that he will be running for re-election to the position that he was suspended from by Gov. Ron DeSantis back in August of 2022.

Biden’s speech is expected to center on reproductive rights in Florida and the country. A restrictive six-week abortion ban is set to begin in Florida in eight days, on May 1.

The president’s appearance comes three weeks after the Biden-Harris reelection campaign declared that Florida was “in play” after the state Supreme Court approved a six-week abortion ban as well as placing a constitutional amendment to restore a woman’s right to an abortion up until the time of viability.

On a conference call with reporters on Monday, Michael Tyler, communications director for the Biden-Harris campaign, scoffed at the suggestion by a reporter that Tuesday’s appearance is simply “window dressing.”

“I don’t think the president coming to the state [on Tuesday] to talk about the fundamental stakes for women in Florida and across the country is window dressing,” he said. “We take Florida very seriously, the idea that Donald Trump has the state in the bag could not be further from the truth right? He owns not only the state of abortion rights across the country but he owns the restriction that we see playing out in Florida, so yes that means there’s an opportunity for us and we’re taking it very seriously.”

Tyler added that “it cannot be overstated how unpopular the MAGA Republican agenda is in the state of Florida. We’ve seen it play out for years at this point. This campaign’s posture reflects the seriousness of which we are taking Florida.”

The Phoenix will have complete coverage of the President’s speech later on Tuesday.