'Scheduling Conflicts' to Keep Democratic Candidates From Biden's Pa. Visit (Danielfela/Dreamstime.com)
By Luca Cacciatore | Thursday, 27 January 2022 09:20 PM
Two statewide Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania will not be on hand for President Joe Biden's visit to Pittsburgh on Friday, as low approval ratings make the president a liability in the midterms, The Associated Press reported on Thursday.
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is running for U.S. Senate in 2022, and state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor the same year, will not attend due to "scheduling conflicts," their spokespeople told AP.
Fetterman said he would miss Biden's visit to attend the Democratic state committee, which begins Friday in Harrisburg.
"It's great that President Biden is coming to Pittsburgh to talk about infrastructure," Fetterman said. But he said he'll be in Harrisburg to talk to Democrats about the midterms.
Another Democratic Senate candidate, Rep. Conor Lamb, confirmed that he would attend the gathering.
"President Biden first announced his infrastructure plan in Pittsburgh, and Conor looks forward to welcoming him back and talking about all the good jobs that bill will create in the Pittsburgh area and all over Pennsylvania," said Lamb campaign manager Abby Nassif-Murphy.
The absences of Fetterman and Shapiro come as Democrats have begun to distance themselves from Biden, whose average approval rating stands at 41.5% and disapproval rating above 53.6% among likely or registered voters, according to FiveThirtyEight.
The two have indicated that politics had no bearing on their decisions. Shapiro made three appearances with Biden last summer and fall when the president's approval rating was over 50%.
"Josh Shapiro is running to be the governor of Pennsylvania, and he's focused on the issues that matter to Pennsylvania families," the attorney general's spokesperson, Will Simons, told AP.
"Like every American should, Josh wants our president to be successful, and we'll continue welcoming President Biden to his home state of Pennsylvania," Simons said.