SUPERIOR, Wis. (Reuters) – Fresh from his State of the Union speech, U.S. President Joe Biden visited the battleground state of Wisconsin on Wednesday and reiterated his support for the Ukrainian people abroad while touting the billions of dollars in public infrastructure investments he helped secure at home.
A day after delivering the State of the Union address, Biden trumpeted his infrastructure law and visited a bridge in Superior, Wisconsin. He called the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law secured last year one of the most sweeping in U.S. history that will create thousands of jobs rebuilding the nation’s highways, bridges and airports.
“We can’t compete for jobs in the 21st century if we don’t fix that,” Biden said.
On Tuesday night, he delivered his first State of the Union speech, focusing on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In his speech he assailed Russian President Vladimir Putin, announced a U.S. ban on Russian flights in American airspace and led Democratic and Republican lawmakers in a rare display of unity.
“Together, we send an unmistakable signal to Ukraine and to the world. We, the United States of America, stand with the Ukrainian people. We stand with them,” Biden told a crowd gathered at the University of Wisconsin in Superior.
Wisconsin, a hotly contested state politically because its population swings between supporting Democrats and Republicans, helped secure Biden’s 2020 victory. First lady Jill Biden accompanied him on the trip.
Other administration officials fanned out around the country to promote Biden’s domestic agenda. Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to the swing state of North Carolina on Wednesday along with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, where they visited an apprentice training program for union electrical workers.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen visited Chicago to promote Biden’s economic agenda, including investments in child care and education.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was going to Kentucky to tour a solar farm and participate in a roundtable discussion about clean energy investments. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan planned to push investments in water infrastructure during a trip to South Carolina.
The U.S. midterm elections take place in November and Democrats risk losing their narrow majorities in both houses of Congress. All 435 members of the House are up for re-election in 2022, as are one-third of the members of the U.S. Senate, including Democrats in competitive districts in Arizona, Georgia and Nevada.
Less than half of Americans approve of Biden, according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll.
The national opinion poll, conducted Feb. 28-March 1, found that 43% of U.S. adults approved of Biden’s performance in office while 54% disapproved and the rest were not sure. The president’s approval numbers have hovered below 50% since August.
(The story is refiled to fix tense of quote to make it “send” instead of “sent”)
(Reporting by Jeff Mason in Wisconsin and Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Matthew Lewis)