President Joe Biden on Thursday appeared with Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), a vulnerable Democrat running for reelection in the November midterms. While the purpose of the president’s visit was on prescription drug pricing, one couldn’t help but notice the desperation to pass what is left of the Build Back Better agenda. At the podium for the speakers were signs touting “Lower Costs for Families” and “Build Back Better.”
Towards the end of his speech, Biden mentioned the bill and even celebrated it passing the House last November. The president had segued from making a point about capping the cost of insulin, saying “we can do that with the stroke of a pen,” a point he emphasized in his closing. Build Back Better is considered “dead,” and, even if it should pass, will be significantly stripped down. That didn’t stop Biden from trying to oversell it, though.
“In my Build Back Better legislation, that with Abigail’s leadership passed the House of Representatives, we can do that,” he said of lowering drug costs. “Now we just have to get it through the United States Senate, and we’re close,” the president said without giving evidence. “We can do even more to lower out-of-pocket prescription costs. Under my proposal, we will hold drug companies accountable for the absurd price increases.”
In the last minutes of his speech, Biden acknowledged concerns of inflation, which it was revealed earlier on Thursday is at a 40 year high. He focused on using it as yet another opportunity to push for Build Back Better.
“But the fact is that, if we’re able to do the things I’m talking about here, it’ll bring down the costs for average families. It’ll bring down the costs for average families. I don’t know why they keep moving all that, but the fact is: They keep down the costs for average families,” Biden said.
The legislation is thought to potentially worsen inflation, especially if the entitlement programs included in it become permanent. The cost associated with the bill is one of Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) many concerns, who was responsible for killing the bill last December.
A score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) though, has warned though that the bill will add $3 trillion to the deficit between 2022 and 2031, a number which “stunned” Manchin. The White House claimed the score was “fake.”
The president quipped that Spanberger ought to be brought in to get Build Back Better to pass the Senate. While there was some laughter, he may not have been entirely joking, as the White House needs all the help it can get.
The RNC weighed in on the visit, with a statement from Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel addressing such costs, among other issues in Virginia. “Virginia voters soundly rejected Joe Biden and Democrats’ agenda. From forcing masks on school children, and skyrocketing grocery and gas prices, Biden has shown he doesn’t care. Biden was a burden to Virginia Democrats in 2021, and it’s only getting worse,” she said.
The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) took the opportunity to criticize the vulnerable congresswoman.
In questioning “Who told Abigail this was a good idea,” with regards to her campaigning for Biden, who is unpopular in Virginia,” CLF Press Secretary Cally Perkins offered a statement. “Abigail Spanberger already rubber-stamped Biden’s failed agenda, so it’s no surprise she’d join him to push for more of their disastrous policies,” she said. “Spanberger showing up with Joe Biden will only remind voters who’s responsible the rising crime and skyrocketing prices they created.”
The NRCC warned that “There’s no way Spanberger can run away from Biden’s failed agenda now!” A statement from NRCC Spokeswoman Camille Gallo called out Spanberger for other issues as well. “Virginians can see clear as day that Abigail Spanberger completely supports Joe Biden’s failed agenda that is fueling inflation, giving handouts to illegal immigrants, ignoring violent crime and terminating parental rights,” she said.
Spanberger’s potential Republican opponents for the general election also pounced.
“President Biden’s first year in office has been a disaster and Abigail Spanberger has been right by his side. American lives are worse off than they were a year ago. Abigail Spanbeger has been in lockstep with Joe Biden’s failed radical progressive agenda that has led to rising costs due to inflation, supply chain issues keeping store shelves empty, crime skyrocketing, a broken border, and the continued masking of our children in schools,” Derrick Anderson, a former Green Beret said. “Americans need strong leadership now more than ever and Abigail Spanberger and Joe Biden are not those leaders. I hope they both take time to listen to the people of the 7th district who are seeing shrinking paychecks and violence in their communities, and realize that it’s time to put aside the radical progressive agenda of the Washington Democrats, and focus on the issues really impacting everyday Americans.”
Anderson conducted his own visit in the district and also spoke with Larry O’Connor on his radio program about issues affecting the district.
Gina Ciarcia, who is also running in the Republican primary, appeared in a Facebook live video where among other failures of the Biden administration, she mentioned inflation, rising costs, and gas prices. She also called COVID mask and vaccine mandates “oppressive,” and highlighted how they are causing “division.”
“Frankly, everything Biden touches turns into an absolute disaster,” she mentioned. She also said that “Abigail Spanberger clearly is on point with Biden’s agenda” and called the congresswoman “an enabler” of the “president’s disastrous policies.”
Considering that Biden’s multiple visits to Virginia last year to campaign for former Gov. Terry McAuliffe did not turn out so well, Spanberger may want to think twice.
Biden is polling poorly throughout the country on a national level and throughout several states, including in Virginia. According to Civiqs data last updated on February 8, Biden has an approval rating in the commonwealth of 34 percent, while 56 disapprove of the job he is doing.
McAuliffe, who was elected in 2013 and served from 2014-2018, was unable to run again for reelection in 2017, due to the Virginia constitution prohibiting governors from running for back-to-back terms. He ran again in 2021 and lost to Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who took office last month.
Spanberger herself last November warned that “Nobody elected [Biden] to be FDR, they elected him to be normal and stop the chaos.”