U.S. President Joe Biden waves as he walks to board Marine One for Delaware from the White House in Washington, U.S., August 11, 2023.

Kevin Wurm | Reuters

President Joe Biden spoke in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Tuesday, a week before Republicans meet there for their first presidential debate.

The president’s visit also comes a day before the one year anniversary of the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, his signature clean energy bill. The renewable energy subsidies in the legislation have already had a direct impact on manufacturing heavy states like Wisconsin.

“Look folks, it’s really kind of basic: We just decided to invest in America once again,” Biden said in Wisconsin.

Biden toured and spoke at Ingeteam, a producer of onshore wind turbine generators. The company expects orders to double next year as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act, according to the White House.

“Bidenomics and [Biden’s] investing in America agenda are ushering in a manufacturing boom and attracting more than $110 billion in business investment in clean energy manufacturing,” said Olivia Dalton, a White House spokeswoman, en route to the event.

Wisconsin is a key battleground state that Biden won in 2020, but which former President Donald Trump won in 2016. Republicans will hold their 2024 convention in Milwaukee in an effort to recapture it.

Republicans will also hold their first presidential debate of the cycle in Milwaukee on Aug. 23. Trump is leading in the polls, but has not confirmed whether he will participate in the debate.

Biden visited Wisconsin Tuesday in his official capacity as president. But the crucial role that the state will play in the 2024 presidential election is not lost on anyone.

In an unusual move, the Biden reelection campaign also issued a statement on his Wisconsin trip, criticizing Republicans’ track record in the state.

“Voters in Wisconsin rejected the extreme, divisive MAGA agenda in 2020 and they rejected the MAGA attacks on choice just this year in their Supreme Court election,” campaign spokesman Kevin Munoz said Tuesday. “They will reject it again in 2024.”

Biden has received criticism in recent days for his handling of the Maui wildfires which killed at least 99 people. Dalton said the White House is currently having conversations about when Biden will be able to visit and survey the damage. Biden said he was eager to get to Hawaii.

“My wife Jill and I are going to travel to Hawaii as soon as we can, that’s what we’ve been talking to the governor about, but I don’t want to get in the way. I’ve been to too many disaster areas, but I want to go and make sure we’ve got everything they need. I want to be sure we don’t disrupt the ongoing recovery efforts.”

Biden spoke with Hawaii Governor Josh Green and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell on the plane ride to Wisconsin.

“I immediately approved the governor’s request for an expedited major disaster declaration,” Biden said. “That’s a fancy way of saying whatever you need, you’re gonna get.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Hawaii, but not just our prayers, every asset, every asset they need we’ll be there for them. We’ll be there in Maui for as long as it takes,” Biden said.

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