President Biden heads to Oregon as crucial midterm election nears

The President plans to talk about cost-savings for families and he is also expected to meet with Democratic candidates.
Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 8:59 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - President Joe Biden is landing in Oregon as candidates battle to keep the state blue ahead of the midterm elections.

Among the issues the President is expected to focus on is the economy, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and reminding seniors how they can take advantage of the Inflation Reduction Act.

“Tomorrow he’s going to deliver remarks on his plan to lower the price of prescription drugs for our seniors, to lower health care costs for families. And, he’ll be talking about how that compares and contrasts to the congressional Republican plan, which is to put Medicare on the chopping block every five years. The president will talk about how his Inflation Reduction Act. This is a bill he signed into law a few months ago. It caps the price of insulin at $35 a month for our seniors. He’ll talk about that in Portland. He’ll talk about how we’re putting a $2,000 cap in on the price of out of pocket that folks have to pay for their prescription drugs,” said Herbie Ziskend, White House Deputy Communications Director.

The President also plans to highlight a new executive order that directs the administration to explore additional steps to lower prescription drug costs. Additionally, he’ll use the appearance is to mark the start of medicare open enrollment season on Saturday.

With a critical Governor’s race at stake in Oregon along with several key congressional races, the President is also expected to highlight how his plan differs from Republicans.

“I get the sense that Republicans, especially in Oregon, are really excited and fired up about this election because they have the opportunity to win the governor’s mansion for the first time in 40 years,” said political expert Ben Gaskins of Lewis and Clark College. “So, one of the things that I’m expecting for the president’s visit is to try to rally Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents to get more enthusiastic about the race to really support the Democratic Party’s candidates for Congress, for governor, and to try to consolidate a state that should by all rights, you know, be pretty good for Democrats but at the moment is looking a little more dodgy and could in some of these races trend towards the Republican side.”

Gaskins describes Oregon as a left-leaning state. He said the economy, inflation, abortion, and crime are among the top issues Oregon voters care about. He noted gas prices remain high in the state. So, he said the President’s speech is an opportunity for him to, “articulate a vision of what he and his party is doing in Congress to try to address inflation, to address gas prices, and to again focus in on the successes that he may have had, that he has had at the national level.”

“It’s something that the President wants to take the lead on and not just give that issue over to the Republican side but to articulate a vision of what he and his party is doing in Congress to try to address inflation to address gas prices,” said Gaskins.

As for how voters in Oregon feel about the job President Biden is doing, Gaskins said “his approval rating will certainly have a bearing on races across the country and in the state.” He believes Biden is more popular in Oregon than in other states and Democrats may rely on that to give their candidates a boost.

“Biden, of course, represents a more centrist or moderate wing of the party. And I think this is an effort to try to shore up that that centrist, moderate base, those voters that voted for Joe Biden in 2020 but are perhaps having doubts about whether or not they’re going to support Tina Kotek for governor. And so what Joe Biden is really trying to do is to try to boost that centrist, Democratic and Democratic-leaning independent sector to actually show up and vote for Tina Kotek. So it remains to be seen whether that, you know, support for Joe Biden that occurred in 2020 is enough to continue to support the current slate of Democratic candidates. But one thing that I think is worth noting is that Christine Drazan, the Republican candidate, is more to the right of the Republican Party. And so, I think there really is some concern from moderate to moderate left Democrats about Christine Drazan,” said Gaskins.

Ziskend, meanwhile, said the president is ‘laser-focused’ on bringing down prices. He added, “the president is focusing on helping families to help families. And, to make sure that they have what they need to get by. He knows about the conversations at a kitchen table that families have to make sure that they can make ends meet month to month. This is part of his upbringing. He’s acutely aware. And that’s why from the moment he took office, he took action to shore up our economy. We’ve created over 10 million jobs since he took office, 700,000 jobs in manufacturing.”

The White House said the President will meet with several elected officials while he is in Oregon.

He will also visit Pennsylvania next week.