Biden mocks Trump throughout California fundraising journey By Reuters

© Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden waves as he steps from Air Power One upon his arrival in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., December 5, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

By Jarrett Renshaw and Nandita Bose

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -President Joe Biden kicked off a three-day, star-studded fundraising journey in California on Friday by mocking Republican frontrunner Donald Trump for claiming he could be a dictator simply on his first day in workplace if he turned president once more.

Trump stated on Tuesday that he won’t turn into a dictator if he turns into U.S. president once more, besides “on day one.”

“Thank God, solely someday,” Biden quipped at a fundraiser in Los Angeles on the residence of Michael Smith, a celeb inside designer, and his associate, James Costos, a former HBO government who was President Barack Obama’s ambassador to Spain.

Biden referred to as Trump, who misplaced the 2020 election however sought to overturn the outcomes, a menace to democracy. Trump was indicted in August for wide-ranging makes an attempt to overturn the election.

Biden’s journey comes a day after the Division of Justice filed new felony fees in opposition to Biden’s son, Hunter, accusing him of failing to pay $1.4 million in taxes whereas spending thousands and thousands of {dollars} on a lavish way of life. The president didn’t point out his son throughout his remarks on the fundraiser.

California – and the deep-pocketed leisure trade – has lengthy served as a significant funding supply for Democrats, however lengthy strikes by actors and screenwriters had a chilling impact on fundraising.

The top of the labor unrest has unlocked pent-up {dollars}, stated Jeffrey Katzenberg, a film mogul and marketing campaign co-chair who has emerged as an influential voice in Biden’s effort to win re-election in November 2024.

“It is going to be probably the most profitable day and a half for the marketing campaign so far and certain one of the crucial profitable day and a halfs previous to a normal election, the place issues form of kick into a complete ‘nother gear, that we have ever had out right here for any candidate ever,” Katzenberg stated in an interview with Reuters.

Biden was scheduled to take part in two Los Angeles fundraisers anticipated to incorporate administrators Steven Spielberg and Rob Reiner and musicians Barbra Streisand and Lenny Kravitz. The California swing is a part of a blitz of not less than 9 fundraisers Biden will maintain earlier than the top of the month.

The fundraisers in California and an earlier spherical in Boston are anticipated to lift not less than $15 million, based on a supply accustomed to the occasions, who spoke on situation of anonymity. The entire haul within the fourth quarter of 2023 is predicted to be near $67 million, the supply stated, including that the quantity shall be just like that raised by then President Obama throughout the identical interval in 2011.

Katzenberg, who helps to prepare one of many fundraisers, stated the ultimate quantity was nonetheless fluid.

“The quantity is huge. I do know that,” stated Katzenberg, who co-founded DreamWorks Animation.

Biden stopped briefly in Las Vegas on Friday to announce $8.2 billion in funding for 10 new passenger rail tasks.

“Trump simply talks the speak. We stroll the stroll,” Biden instructed a crowd of unionized carpenters there. “He likes to say America is a failing nation. Frankly, he would not know what the hell he is speaking about. I see shovels within the floor, cranes within the sky. Individuals arduous at work rebuilding America collectively.”

The tasks, funded by the $1 trillion infrastructure regulation, embrace $3 billion for the nation’s first high-speed rail line, which is able to run by means of California, based on a senior administration official.

Biden additionally introduced a $3 billion funding to assist create one other high-speed rail hall between Las Vegas and Southern California, together with cash for tasks in North Carolina, Virginia and Washington.

Biden has spent the final yr crisscrossing the nation saying new funding tethered to his signature items of laws: the infrastructure regulation, the Chips and Science Act and the Inflation Discount Act.

It’s a part of a bid to spice up his ballot scores and persuade voters he’s the fitting individual to guide the U.S. economic system, however current public opinion polls present the hassle has had little success.

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