President Biden called anti-socialism protesters outside of his Illinois campaign event “idiots” during his speech boosting Democrats.
Mr. Biden, who made his remarks in Joliet, stopped to acknowledge a group of protesters outside his rally who held signs that said “socialism sucks” and “vote pro-life.” One sign read “Where’s Nancy?”
“I love those signs when I came in — socialism. Give me a break, what idiots,” he said.
Mr. Biden also highlighted his commitment to protect social security, Medicare and other government programs he said are under threat by a Republican majority in Congress.
“Social security and Medicare are more than government programs, they’re a promise,” Mr. Biden said. “Work hard and contribute and when the time comes, things will be easier for you.”
Rep. Lauren Underwood, Illinois Democrat, reiterated the pledge from her party.
“We are in the fight for our lives, for the future of our country,” Ms. Underwood said. “No matter your political party, Medicare and Social Security belong to all of us.”
Ms. Underwood, who represents northern Illinois exurbs and Chicago suburbs, was one of the members Mr. Biden came to stump for along with Reps. Sean Casten and Bill Foster.
Democrats have been shoring up their pledge to protect funding for social programs, following a proposal released in February by GOP Sen. Rick Scott of Florida that called to sunset government programs every five years.
The proposal would require a vote by lawmakers to extend Medicare and Social Security.
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates Mr. Foster’s race as being “likely Democrat” while Ms. Underwood and Mr. Casten’s “lean Democrat.”
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker is also up for reelection, set to face Republican Darren Bailey on Tuesday in a race where he has an advantage.
Overall, Democrats are expected to be vulnerable in the midterms, as Mr. Biden remains unpopular in polls and voters remain concerned about inflation and the economy.
Historically, the party with control of the White House also loses seats in the midterms.
Republicans need a net gain of just five seats to flip the House.
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