Jeramey Jannene

President Sells ‘Bidenomics’ In Visit To Milwaukee

Biden touts green jobs, low unemployment, rebuilding middle class in factory floor speech.

By - Aug 15th, 2023 02:41 pm
President Joe Biden addresses the crowd at Ingeteam in Milwaukee on Aug. 15, 2023. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

President Joe Biden addresses the crowd at Ingeteam in Milwaukee on Aug. 15, 2023. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

President Joe Biden delivered an upbeat speech during a visit to Milwaukee Tuesday.

Speaking at the North American headquarters and factory for Ingeteam, a manufacturer of wind turbine generators and electric vehicle chargers, Biden touted what his political opponents once tried to deride as “Bidenomics.”

“I can honestly say I have never been more optimistic, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, I have never been more optimistic about America’s future,” said the president, speaking one day before the anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act. The law passed on a party-line vote, with every Republican in opposition. A successor to the president’s proposed Build Back Better legislation, it was attacked by Republican legislators for the $891 billion in spending, much of it for climate-related efforts.

“When I think climate, I think jobs,” said Biden, touting the creation of 13.4 million jobs in the country and 150,000 in Wisconsin. Ingeteam was selected for Biden’s visit because the Spanish company announced in May it would grow its union workforce by 100 members in the next five years while adding two electrical vehicle charger product lines to the facility, 3550 W. Canal St. The company originally opened in Milwaukee in 2010 to make wind power equipment backed by stimulus funding during the Obama-Biden administration.

“The company predicts that demand for wind turbine generators, which they make right here in this facility, will double,” said the president, who toured the plant before his speech.

But Biden had more than Ingeteam to tout; he also noted that Siemens announced earlier in the day that it would make solar inverters in Kenosha. He also declared that a combination of the Inflation Reduction Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS Act and other funding would replace every lead water service line in Wisconsin, “restore the American dream” by creating more good-paying jobs, bring chips manufacturing back to the United States and fuel American innovation.

“I came into office determined to move away from trickle-down economics and rebuild the middle class,” said the president. “The last guy talked about infrastructure month, we are talking about infrastructure decade, baby.”

Biden never mentioned former President Donald Trump by name, but he did repeatedly single out Senator Ron Johnson for criticism. He keyed in on Johnson’s remarks in favor of outsourcing labor-intensive production. “We have been letting them do that for too damn long, it’s time to build American products in America,” said the president.

The president was introduced by Mayor Cavalier Johnson, County Executive David Crowley, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Senator Tammy Baldwin, Governor Tony Evers and Ingeteam employee and IBEW member Valentino Collado, a Filipino immigrant who has spent a decade with the company.

“America’s union workforce is the backbone of this country and that’s something President Biden understands,” said Collado.

The politicians introducing Biden played up the success of the Inflation Reduction Act, low unemployment and infrastructure projects.

“Bidenomics is working and this is evidence of that,” said Moore, referencing Ingeteam. “This is a generational investment and let me tell you this, it was made for Milwaukee, Wisconsin.”

“You can say in Wisconsin we manufacture everything but the kitchen sink, but wait, we do that too in Kohler,” said Baldwin.

Johnson declared that Milwaukee’s economy was long built on a middle class backed by good-paying manufacturing jobs.

Biden said when he came into the U.S. Senate in 1973, Milwaukee was a manufacturing “powerhouse.” He said it would be that again as clean energy efforts create new jobs and manufacturing opportunities.

He opened his speech, which ran for approximately a half hour, discussing the recent fire in Hawaii and also said he was elected to be a president for all Americans.

“A lot of Democrats are getting mad at me because we are investing more in red states than blue states right now, folks, they’re all Americans.” said the president.

Several dozen people from across Wisconsin attended the event, including Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg, Senate Minority Leader Melissa Agard, Attorney General Josh Kaul., Glendale Mayor Bryan Kennedy and many labor representatives. A diverse contingent of Milwaukee leaders could be spotted in the crowd, including Walnut Way Conservation Corp. leader Antonio Butts, Menomonee Valley Partners head Corey Zetts, pastor Walter Lanier, Royal Capital Group executive Terrell J. Walter, former lieutenant governor and senate candidate Mandela Barnes, city lobbyist Jordan Primakow, former Milwaukee port director and current Biden appointee Adam Tindall-Schlicht, MENTOR Greater Milwaukee leader Lanelle Ramey and his son, a Quad Graphics office leader, Brandon Ramey, Mueller Communications CEO James Madlom and many members of the public relations firm team, retired We Energies executive Thelma Sias, county supervisor Peter Burgelis and state representative Sylvia Ortiz-Velez.

The president last visited Wisconsin in February, speaking outside Madison. He was in Milwaukee last September to speak at LaborFest. Vice President Kamala Harris, also visited Milwaukee and Pleasant Praire two weeks ago to tout Bidenomics.

The first Republican presidential debate of the 2024 cycle is scheduled to occur in Milwaukee next week. The Biden-Harris ticket narrowly won Wisconsin by 21,000 votes in 2020.

Then-Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh joined Milwaukee leaders in touring the Ingeteam plant in October.


This story is about breaking news and will be updated.

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