US President Joe Biden touted the Democratic Party’s most recent healthcare legislative victories in front of a crowd of around 100 people at the East Portland Community Center on Saturday, his second day in Portland.
His gratitude and joy were palpable, and he showed no signs of the worry that many Democratic leaders in Oregon are experiencing in light of the upcoming tight fight for governor.
They expected that Biden’s appearance would persuade voters to support Democrat Tina Kotek, who is now tied with Republican Christine Drazan in the polls while independent candidate Betsy Johnson gathers support.
Speaking at the community centre, Biden emphasised the pharmaceutical price reductions included in the Inflation Reduction Act, which he signed in August. This was a fitting topic for the first day of open enrollment for Medicare enrollees.
Also read: Who is Tina Kotek?
“This year the American people won, and for the first time, big pharma lost,” the 79-year-old president said. “Now, when big pharma tries to raise drug prices faster than inflation, they’re going to have to write a check to Medicare to cover the difference.”
After that, the president’s convoy departed the community centre to go to a Kotek fundraising event. At the little gathering, he stood at her side and referred to her as “serious and consequential.”
“Oregon is viewed as a progressive state, and that’s why this race matters so much. Think about who you elect governor. Are they prepared for the state to be pro-choice?” Biden urged.
Moving on to crime, he stated, “We should be funding police more, not less,” while also advocating for additional social workers and psychiatrists.
He then changed the subject to climate change, praising Kotek for her insight into methods to solve it through state laws.
Biden and Kotek then visited the Gresham Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop at around 3:25 pm where he took a selfie and shook hands with three customers.
Once at the counter, Biden chose a cone and ordered a double dip chocolate chip in a waffle cone. He then put his sunglasses on. Biden then paid $8.57 for their ice cream.
Biden announced, “This is the last stop,” before the airport.
“I feel good,” Biden said when the travelling press inquired about the trip’s progress.
“I think she’s going to win,” he said of Kotek. “I think people are going to show up and vote. I think it’s going to work.”
Before running for governor, Kotek held the record for the longest tenure as speaker of the house in Oregon history and was the first openly lesbian to hold the position.