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Biden to focus on abortion during Tampa campaign stop

President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media after exiting Air Force One, Wednesday, July 20, 2022, at Andrews Air Force Base
Evan Vucci
President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media after exiting Air Force One, Wednesday, July 20, 2022, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

The issue of abortion will be the focus when President Joe Biden visits Tampa on Tuesday afternoon. It will be one of the centerpieces of his reelection campaign.

The president will make his first Florida stop since wrapping up the Democratic nomination at the Dale Mabry campus of Hillsborough Community College. He'll talk about the state's ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, which goes into effect next week.

He also will pump up support for November's referendum that would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution.

According to the White House, Biden is scheduled to arrive at Tampa International Airport at 2:15 p.m. The event is slated to begin at 3.

Biden's visit means that Florida - which had been considered a swing state until Donald Trump won the last two elections here - will be firmly in the sights of Democrats.

“The idea that Donald Trump has the state in the bag could not be further from the truth,” said Michael Tyler, the campaign's national communications director. “He owns not only the state of abortion rights across the country, but he owns the restrictions that we're seeing play out in Florida. And so, yes, that means that there's an opportunity for us, and we're taking it very seriously." 

Tyler says Biden's campaign will focus heavily on women, one of the most heavily targeted swing groups.

But he says they are not just focusing on abortion. 

“Extreme MAGA Republicans, following in the footsteps of Donald Trump, have made Florida the blueprint for their toxic and losing agenda,” he said. “Republicans in the state have attacked Social Security, they've attacked Medicare, they've made it easier for criminals to carry guns, they've banned books, rewritten history to say that Black people benefited from slavery, and attacked our most vulnerable communities.”

Tyler adds that Democrat leaders believe the abortion rights issue will help put Florida back in play during November's elections.

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.
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