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President Joe Biden touts economic agenda, rural investments during farm stop in Minnesota

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Biden touts economic agenda during visit to Minnesota farm 02:52

NORTHFIELD, Minn. — President Joe Biden visited Minnesota on Wednesday to tout his economic agenda and make the case that those policies are helping rural communities, the first stop on a two-week swing across the country highlighting investments in agriculture and economic development.

"Over the past few decades, these communities lost more than jobs. They lost their sense of dignity, opportunity, pride," Biden said. "My plan is about investing in rural America, but it's about something else as well: it's about restoring pride in rural communities that have been left behind for far too long."

The backdrop for his event was Dutch Creek Farms, a family-owned farm that the White House said uses "climate-smart" agriculture techniques that make it more sustainable. New federal investments will support those practices and others across the country, which Biden argued will support small towns and their local economies and empower people to stay in those places. 

He also highlighted billions more in investments targeting rural America from the Inflation Reduction Act and the bipartisan Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act — two of his key legislative achievements that underpin "Bidenomics," as he calls his economic plan. The former includes significant spending on clean energy and climate change mitigation and the latter provides big- boosts to roads, bridges, wastewater systems and broadband connectivity.

"Because of these investments, we're making sure family farms like this one stay in the family, and their children and grandchildren won't have to leave home to make a living," he said.

But while he focused on policies bolstering rural communities back home, the war in the Middle East was still top of mind. The president began his remarks by praising the safe passage of the first foreign nationals — including Americans — and injured Palestinians from Gaza through the border crossing into Egypt since the conflict began.

He credited U.S. leadership for making that happen and vowed to send more humanitarian aid to innocent people still trapped in Gaza.

"We're working nonstop to get Americans out of Gaza as soon and safely as possible," Biden said. "This is a result of intense and urgent diplomacy with our partners in the region."

The visit is Biden's fourth to the state since he became president, and it comes less than a week after Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillps announced a primary campaign against him for the Democratic nomination, arguing that he cannot win next November.

The president's approval ratings right now are just under 40%. The event on Wednesday provided an opportunity to build back support with rural voters, who have been shifting away from Democrats in the last several years — former President Trump won 65% of that vote in 2020. 

Meanwhile, the Minnesota GOP criticized Biden's visit and argued it isn't a coincidence that he came to Minnesota amid a challenge from Phillips.  

"It is becoming increasingly more obvious that both Democrats and Republicans know that if the election were held today, Biden would lose," party chair David Hann said. "And Biden wouldn't be coming to Minnesota if he didn't think it was true."

 Follow updates from the president's visit below.


Protesters hound Biden during Minnesota visit

Hundreds of protesters march through Minneapolis during Biden visit 02:31

Hundreds of protesters marched through downtown Minneapolis Wednesday night amid the Israeli-Hamas War.

President Joe Biden has been outspoken in his support for the Israeli war effort, but for the first time, here in Minneapolis, he called for a pause in the war to get prisoners out.

That came in response to a protester at a political fundraiser. That protester wasn't the only one trying to send a message.

Hundreds of protestors gathered in front of the federal building in downtown Minneapolis, hoping the president would hear them loud and clear.

"We're sending a clear message that we will not stop until there's a ceasefire now, that the bombing cannot continue," Sana Wazwaz with American Muslims for Palestine said.

The president's stop at a family farm in Northfield was meant to highlight his domestic agenda, including billions for rural communities.

"Restoring pride in the rural to rural communities that have been left behind for far too long," he said.

But even he couldn't spend the day in Minnesota without talking about developments in the Middle East.

"We're continuing working to significantly step up the flow of critical humanitarian assistance into Gaza," he said. "The number of trucks entering Gaza continues to increase significantly, but we still have a long way to go."

Protesters followed the president wherever he went Wednesday, from the airport, through downtown and even inside a fundraiser.

"Mr. President, if you care about Jewish people, as a rabbi I need you to call for a ceasefire right now," one protester said.

That's where the video cuts off, but in response, the president reportedly said, "I think we need a pause. A pause means give time to get the prisoners out."

Though the president may have departed Minnesota, these demonstrators say they're not going anywhere. 

"We have to stand on the side of life," Wazwaz said. "It's not partisan. It's not complicated. It's not nuanced. It's about standing on the side of life."

By Allen Henry

Biden lands in Minnesota

Biden landed at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Air Force One right around 1:30 p.m., then boarded a helicopter to head to Northfield.

Biden arrives in Minnesota ahead of visit to Northfield farm 08:58
By Anthony Bettin

Minnesota Muslim leaders protest Biden's stance in Israel-Hamas conflict

Some Minnesota Muslim leaders called for Israel's immediate ceasefire in Gaza by Tuesday. 

The deadline has passed, and now those leaders — who gathered Wednesday at the Federal Courthouse in Minneapolis — say they are pledging to "abandon Biden" in the 2024 presidential election due to what they see as the president's inaction in helping the Palestinian people.

Click here to read more.

Minnesota Muslim leaders pledge to “Abandon Biden” over Israel-Hamas war 02:07
By Jason Rantala
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