Joe Biden to spotlight threat to Florida abortion rights during Tampa campaign stop

President Joe Biden will appear in Tampa on April 23, a week ahead of the state implementing a strict abortion ban six weeks into pregnancy.

That’s no coincidence. Officials with the Biden-Kamala Harris campaign reiterated to press ahead of the visit that the new law makes Florida a battleground, regardless of solid GOP performance here in recent election cycles.

“We take Florida very seriously. The idea that Donald Trump has the state in the bag could not be further from the truth,” Biden-Harris 2024 Communications Director Michael Tyler told reporters in a press call. “He owns not only the state of abortion rights across the country, but he owns the restriction that we’re seeing play out in Florida. So yes, that means that there’s an opportunity for us.”

Tyler said the entire trip aims to highlight Trump’s role in appointing the Justices who overturned Roe v. Wade, allowing state laws that now restrict 1 in 3 American women’s ability to obtain an abortion.

For Republicans’ part, they welcome the chance to contrast Biden’s record to Trump.

“Any day that Joe Biden visits Florida is a great day for Florida Republicans,” said U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, a Republican up for re-election this year, in a statement. “Floridians are abandoning Joe Biden and the Democrats in droves because their disastrous policies are destroying our country.”

Scott’s statement said nothing about abortion of the new state law, but he rattled off a series of issues where he said voters favor Republicans’ view over the Democratic incumbent.

“Joe Biden and the Democrats have opened the border to terrorists and drugs (over 320,000 illegal aliens have been flown to Florida by the Biden Administration), sent the national debt and prices skyrocketing, completely turned their back on our Jewish Community and are allowing antisemitic hate to spew across our college campuses, and they embraced the same socialist policies that so many Floridians moved here to escape,” Scott said.

“That’s why Florida Republicans now have a nearly 900,000 voter registration lead. Floridians want freedom, safe communities, and a thriving economy. Like the millions of Americans who retire to Florida to escape poorly run blue states, we hope Joe Biden considers Florida when he’s retired in November.”

But Democrats and the Biden campaign remained laser-focused, showing how the issue has affected presidential politics nationwide.

On the press call, Biden organizers from Arizona and Wisconsin discussed how abortion bans from the 1800s have impacted women in those states and moved more voters to Democrats. Wisconsin Coordinated Campaign Senior Advisor Tanya Bjork credited a landslide victory in a state Supreme Court race to the post-Roe threat to reproductive health care, and she predicted that the issue would help Biden beat Trump in Wisconsin this fall.

Officials expect a similar effect in Florida when its toughest restriction in modern history starts to be enforced on May 1. And that means Florida’s 30 electoral votes could be up for grabs as the President seeks a path to 270 and re-election to a second term.

“The entire point of tomorrow’s trip is for the President to forcefully advocate for reproductive freedom and call out Donald Trump’s abortion bans, as he’s been doing since Roe was overturned,” Tyler said.

“It’s going to stand in stark contrast to Trump, who when he’s out on the stump every single day is bragging about the role that he played in overturning Roe, who says as far back as 2016 that there should be punishment for women who have abortions, who wants to ban abortion nationwide.”

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