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President Joe Biden visits Philadelphia as battle for Pennsylvania heats up ahead of 2024 election

President Biden visits Philly to campaign for 2024 presidential election
President Biden visits Philly to campaign for 2024 presidential election 02:57

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The battle for Pennsylvania is heating up as President Joe Biden hit the campaign trail in Philadelphia, just days after former President Donald Trump visited the swing state.

The candidates have made four campaign stops in Pennsylvania in the last five days.

Trump held a rally in Lehigh County last weekend before President Biden crisscrossed the state this week.

With more than six months until Election Day, there are still a lot of questions, challenges and hurdles the candidates have to face.

During Thursday's visit to Philly, Biden was endorsed by members of the Kennedy family at the Martin Luther King Jr. Rec Center in North Philadelphia. 

Kerry Kennedy says despite the fact that her brother, Robert Kennedy Jr., is running against Biden as an independent – she and about a dozen other members of the Kennedy family are backing Biden in 2024.

APTOPIX Election 2024 Biden
President Joe Biden, second from right, and members of the Kennedy family including Maxwell Kennedy Sr., from left, Kerry Kennedy and Christopher Kennedy walk on stage at a campaign event, Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Philadelphia. Alex Brandon / AP

"He personifies the values that my father envisioned, that President [John F.] Kennedy envisioned, of decency, of democracy, of human rights, of civil rights. And that's why we're for him," Kerry Kennedy said. 

Robert Kennedy Jr.'s independent campaign is one of the big question marks heading into what's expected to be a tight 2024 race.

Trump, who visited the Lehigh Valley last Saturday, is dealing with a slew of legal issues, and experts say both Trump and Biden are facing serious voter fatigue.

"We're seeing, certainly in our work at the Committee of Seventy, a lot of, 'I don't like my choices. I don't like either of these candidates. I can't believe we're doing this again,'" Lauren Cristella, of the Committee of Seventy, a nonprofit, said. 

Through the primary season, Biden has also seen an impact over his handling of Israel's conflict in Gaza at the polls. Nearly 19% of Minnesota Democrats voted "uncommitted" in that state's primary. 

In Michigan, the "uncommitted" vote topped 13% and protesters followed Biden to North Philly on Thursday.

"As long as you guys are going to fund wars and not feed babies, then we're gonna vote uncommitted," a protester said. 

Cristella says while Pennsylvania doesn't have "uncommitted" boxes on its ballots, she believes there will be some form of protest through write-ins or no-votes. The question is – will this carry into November?

"There's a lot of time between now and November, and I think some people want to register their disapproval, but might ultimately come back home," Cristella said. 

Biden speaks in Scranton, Pittsburgh

On Tuesday, April 16, Biden traveled to his birthplace of Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he discussed the economy and proposed higher taxes for the wealthy at the Carpenters Training Center.

Then on Wednesday, the president visited the Pittsburgh headquarters of the United Steelworkers union, where he pledged to block the acquisition of U.S. Steel by Japanese company Nippon Steel.

Biden promised that U.S. Steel would remain an American company while taking aim at his likely GOP challenger for the White House, former President Donald Trump.

"Taken together, these are strategic and targeted actions that are going to protect American workers and ensure fair competition," Biden said. "Meanwhile, my predecessor and the MAGA Republicans want across-the-board tariffs on all imports, from all countries that could badly hurt American consumers."

Biden also said he'd push for the U.S. trade representative to triple the tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum imports.   

Fourth Biden visit to Philadelphia area, Delaware Valley this year

President Biden has committed significant time to visiting the Keystone State already this year, particularly the Philadelphia area and surrounding Delaware Valley. Thursday's visit marks the fourth time he's traveled to the region in 2024.

With Pennsylvania shaping up to be a battleground for Biden and Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, the president and First Lady Jill Biden traveled to Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell in January to mark the third anniversary of the Capitol insurrection.

A week later Biden visited stores in the Lehigh Valley to highlight the value of small businesses and talk up his economic record.

And on March 9, Biden ramped up his 2024 election campaign with a speech at Strath Haven Middle School in Delaware County, his first rally on the heels of the State of the Union.

During that speech, Biden laid out his plans for a second term, vowing to protect reproductive rights, touting his record on the economy and calling for a ban on assault rifles.

Biden and Trump, already the presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees, are widely expected to win their respective primary races in Pennsylvania on April 23.

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