President Biden’s reelection campaign is revving up an outreach blitz focused on Latino voters around the second Republican presidential debate on Wednesday in Simi Valley, Calif.
The push will begin Monday, with a press call hosted by Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison in an attempt to counterprogram the debate’s messaging, according to a campaign official.
Harrison, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez will lead Democratic efforts on the ground, focusing on portraying Republicans on the debate stage as extremists.
Tucson, Ariz., Mayor Regina Romero (D) and Rep. Verónica Escobar (D-Texas) are teed up as media surrogates.
The push to capitalize on the debate, to be held at the Reagan Library, follows a similar effort in August, when Democratic officials set up a war room in Milwaukee to counter the first Republican debate.
Wednesday’s debate attracted extra Democratic attention because Univision is joining the Fox Business Network as a debate partner.
The Biden campaign will run a new ad in English and Spanish, “La Diferencia,” targeting Latino audiences on TV and digital platforms throughout the week, part of a $25 million campaign.
The president’s team will drive their message of Republican extremism on all sorts of platforms: They’ve hired a plane to fly a banner and will circle a billboard truck around the Reagan Library.
“Republicans talk a lot of game, but Joe Biden actually delivers for Latinos. That’s the difference and that’s the choice Latinos will face in November 2024: between an agenda that is lowering costs and investing in Latino communities and their businesses, and MAGA Republicans whose platform only serves the wealthy and powerful,” said Kevin Muñoz, a campaign spokesman.
“That very stark difference will be on display at next week’s Republican debate, and the campaign will be highlighting the difference between talk and action.”
The second debate is expected to include six candidates, all of whom are polling well behind GOP front-runner former President Trump: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former Vice President Mike Pence, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
The first debate in Milwaukee caused a stir among many U.S. Latinos, particularly Mexican-Americans, as most candidates onstage either explicitly or implicitly endorsed unilateral U.S. military action against cartels in Mexico.
The Biden campaign will be waiting for similar moments Wednesday to portray Republicans as extremists, with Chávez Rodríguez leading counterpunch efforts.
But the debate hosted by Fox Business Network is expected to focus on the economy, an issue where both parties feel they have the upper hand.
While Republicans on the debate stage will almost certainly spend significant time attacking “Bidenomics,” the president’s campaign will tout the president’s record on unemployment, health care and business growth.
As in Milwaukee, Trump is expected to skip the debate, but the Biden campaign “is planning an aggressive response” to his plan to visit striking auto workers in Michigan instead of debating.