Biden faces hostile Michigan protesters as he arrives to promote stalling agenda

5October 2021

President Biden traveled to Michigan on Tuesday to promote his stalling “Build Back Better” agenda – but found an angry group of protesters waiting for him not far from the site where he delivered his speech.

Those opposing Biden in Howell numbered about 500, the Detroit Free Press reported, with many participating in profane chants against the president. Howell is located about midway between Detroit and the state capital city of Lansing.

At one point, the protesters cheered when a green front-end loader with a “No Biden” sign traveled down the road, according to the newspaper.

Another sign in the crowd read, “Build Back Broke,” the Detroit News reported.

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Many in the crowd told FOX 2 of Detroit that they didn’t like the size of the Democrats’ proposed $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill or the $3.5 trillion so-called reconciliation bill of safety-net spending that most members of Biden’s party hope to pass as a package.

“The money has to come from somewhere,” protester Londa Gatt told FOX 2. “You can’t keep printing it.”

“The money has to come from somewhere. You can’t keep printing it.”

— Londa Gatt, anti-Biden protester

The protesters also spoke about the migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border as well as vaccination mandates as reasons for opposing Biden.

“I think this is reflective of how upset people in everyday America are, when you leave the Washington bubble, about the spending going on in Washington, D.C.,” Meghan Reckling, chair of the Livingston County Republicans in Michigan, told FOX 2 about the turnout of protesters.

“I think this is reflective of how upset people in everyday America are, when you leave the Washington bubble, about the spending going on in Washington, D.C.”

— Meghan Reckling, Livingston County Republicans

Some in the crowd of protesters were asked for their theories on why Biden chose to speak in Howell.

“The easy answer is, he is probably trying to boost Slotkin and give her some props,” Meshawn Maddock, co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party, told FOX 2, referring to Democratic U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, who will be up for reelection in 2022. “I think it is a clear indication of where Slotkin is going to be on this (infrastructure) vote.”

“Slotkin is not the moderate she said she was,” Republican Paul Junge, Slotkin’s 2020 opponent, said at the demonstration, according to the Detroit News. “The people of this district are going to see it and vote her out. I intend to be that alternative.”

“Sleepy Joe thinks that this is sleepy little Howell and it’s not,” protester Jackie Ludwig told the Detroit News.

“We just want Biden to know we’re not happy with his spending,” Ludwig’s husband, Philip Ludwig, added. “We’re not happy with the way our country’s going and the job he’s performing. And we would like him to step down.”

President Biden delivers remarks on his "Build Back Better" agenda during a visit to the International Union Of Operating Engineers Local 324, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, in Howell, Mich. In foreground at left is U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich.

President Biden delivers remarks on his “Build Back Better” agenda during a visit to the International Union Of Operating Engineers Local 324, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, in Howell, Mich. In foreground at left is U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich.
(Associated Press)

Biden spoke at a training facility for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324, according to the Free Press. 

The president said his agenda was crafted as a “reinvestment” in America in order for the U.S. to remain competitive in the global economy in the years ahead.

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“The challenge of the day is one of economic competition,” Biden said, add the U.S. needs to “invest in ourselves to show the world that American democracy works.”

Anti-Biden demonstrators spill out into the street as they jeer the president's motorcade after a visit to the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324 training facility in Howell, Michigan, Oct. 5, 2021.

Anti-Biden demonstrators spill out into the street as they jeer the president’s motorcade after a visit to the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324 training facility in Howell, Michigan, Oct. 5, 2021.
(Reuters)

Biden’s visit to Michigan came amid a drop in his approval ratings, both in Michigan and around the nation, the Free Press reported.

He was joined in Howell by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, and most of the state’s congressional Democrats, according to the paper.

It was Biden’s first visit to Michigan since July 3, the Detroit News reported.

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