President Biden to Visit Red State of Alabama on Tuesday
President Joe Biden delivers remarks before presenting Presidential Rank Awards to 230 winners from 37 federal agencies in a virtual ceremony on May 2, 2022, in the South Court Auditorium, next to the White House. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images)
By Charles Kim | Monday, 02 May 2022 09:04 PM
President Joe Biden is headed on Tuesday to the red state of Alabama to visit a Lockheed Martin factory in Troy, highlighting his efforts to help Ukraine in the wake of the Feb. 24 Russian invasion.
''The President will travel to Alabama to visit a Lockheed Martin facility which manufactures weapon systems such as Javelin anti-tank missiles, which the Biden-Harris Administration is providing Ukraine and which Ukrainians are using so effectively to defend against the Russian invasion,'' the Alabama Political Reporter attributed to a White House statement about the trip.
The White House statement said that Biden is going to see the production of ant-tank Javelin missiles made at the factory there, and that no public engagements are planned, the news outlet reported.
The Huntsville television station WAAY 31 reported April 29 that Republican Gov. Kay Ivey's office said that she would not be at the factory with Biden due to ''prior commitments'' and that her office was ''not involved'' in Biden's trip.
But according to The Hill, Alabama's lone Democrat in Congress, Rep. Terri Sewell, said that she would be on hand for Biden's factory visit.
''Alabama plays a critical role in supporting the defense capabilities of the United States and our allies and I am so excited to showcase the essential work being done right here in our state,'' Sewell told The Hill on Monday.
Biden is visiting Pike County, a county he lost to then-President Donald Trump by double digits in 2020, and a state where his approval rating is underwater by more than 30 points, according to the article.
The president's domestic trips since taking office have mainly been to amplify the benefits of the $2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill he signed into law earlier this year, but this trip will focus on the United States aid and support going to Ukraine to defend itself against the Russian invasion.
''Alabama is one of those states where I'm not even sure the Republican wave has crested yet,'' Charles Bullock, a political scientist at the University of Georgia, told The Hill. ''In Alabama, it's still going full bore.''
While he lost in Pike County in 2020, nearby Bullock and Macon counties gave Biden a solid victory of 50 and more than 60 points, respectively.
Most of his past trips have also been to campaign for Democrats in tight races as the midterms in November near, but there is little hope for Democrats winning a state office in Alabama, according to the report.
''I think it's a positive thing for Americans and for Alabamians in particular,'' Cissy Jackson, counsel at Arent Fox and former national security adviser to then-Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., told The Hill.
''The Ukraine situation is a fight for democracy and it's a fight against authoritarians, and that is not a red fight or a blue fight, it's a red, white, and blue fight. And that is what the folks down in Troy are doing. They're helping save lives in Ukraine right this minute.''
Ivey, who is seeking reelection as governor this year, faces eight challengers in Alabama's May 24 GOP primary, according to Ballotpedia.