Biden has accelerated his political activity in recent weeks as Democrats urged to capitalize on the momentum emerging from a string of legislative victories and outcry from their base following the Supreme Court decision to strike down Roe vs. Wade. revealed. He participated in several party fundraisers this week while he was in New York for the United Nations General Assembly and is scheduled to attend a DNC rally in Florida on Tuesday.
“This election will be tight. Very tight,” Biden told donors in Manhattan on Thursday. “We’re losing the House and Senate, that changes the trajectory of a lot of what we can do.”
The president’s increased focus on abortion — who has long been wary of speaking publicly about abortion rights — comes as Democrats picked up a proposal from Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, that would introduce a federal ban on abortion in most Cases in the 15th week of pregnancy.
Biden took aim at Graham’s proposal at a fundraiser Thursday, saying he underscored how Republicans “have become more extreme in their positions.”
Ron Klain, the White House chief of staff, made a point of detailing the details of Graham’s bill — and Democrats’ objections to it — during an interview at the Atlantic Festival event in Washington.
“The contrast couldn’t be clearer,” Klain said of the two parties going into the midterms.
While Klain said he believes Democrats would hold the House and Senate, historical and economic headwinds are real, especially for the narrow Democratic majority in the House.
Soaring inflation, which the White House has been grappling with for months, remains a pervasive concern even as gas prices have fallen steadily over the summer.
While Democrats say they are in a better position than many expected before heading into the campaign home stretch, a series of close Senate races and Republican advantages in many frontline districts of the House of Representatives present the clear possibility that one or both houses could tip over.
“There’s a lot to be won, a lot at stake, from choices to social security, gun rights, global warming to democracy itself,” Biden said at the fundraiser.
Republicans have targeted Biden’s fundraising swing, which has drawn more attention from Biden than campaign events featuring Democratic candidates in recent weeks.
“Families grapple with an unprecedented crime spree, decades of high inflation and a wide-open southern border, yet Joe Biden spends his time tending to liberal elites,” Republican National Committee spokeswoman Emma Vaughn said in a statement.
Still, Biden has sharpened his political message in recent weeks as his schedule has increased, particularly on the abortion rights issue, and the White House continues to target Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott’s proposed GOP agenda.
Scott’s proposal includes a requirement that federal legislation expire every five years unless reapproved by Congress. That has led critics to say it would include popular programs like Medicare and Social Security — key political issues in past elections.
For his part, Scott seems to be enjoying the fight over his proposal, which was brought in in his personal capacity and not through his role as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
This headline and story were updated Thursday with additional developments.