The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston was the site of a racist mass shooting that killed nine Black churchgoers on June 17 2015. Dylann Roof was convicted in the murders and sentenced to the death penalty. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden as his 2024 campaign gets underway will visit a historic church in South Carolina where Black churchgoers were murdered by a white supremacist in 2015, to give a speech about the dangers of political violence and to make the case for his reelection this November.
“The choice for the American people in November 2024 will be about protecting our democracy and every American’s fundamental freedoms,” Biden-Harris Campaign Manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said on a call with reporters Tuesday.
The visit to Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston on Monday marks Biden’s fourth visit to South Carolina and sets the reelection campaign into full swing.
Also, Vice President Kamala Harris will speak on Saturday in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, at the 7th Episcopal District AME Church Women’s Missionary Society retreat.
The Biden-Harris campaign will also focus on the push for reproductive rights, with Harris set to visit Wisconsin on Jan. 22, the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, Quentin Fulks, the Biden-Harris 2024 principal deputy campaign manager, told reporters during the Tuesday call. The site of the Harris visit was not specified.
“You can expect the entirety of our campaign to be out in full force later this month on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, making crystal clear … to every American that the freedom for women to make their own health care decisions is on the ballot this November,” Fulks said.
Prior to the visit to South Carolina, the president will also visit Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, on Saturday to make the case to voters to unite to save democracy.
The visit will mark the third anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, where a violent mob of pro-Trump supporters tried to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election.
“We are running a campaign like the fate of our democracy depends on it,” Chavez Rodriguez said.
Fulks said that the threat that Trump poses “to American democracy has grown even more dangerous than it was when President Biden ran last time.”
Fulks said that the campaign is going to scale up its operation and expand its state program, especially in battleground states, and will engage with voters early, to earn those voters of color.
“Voters of color are the ones who have the most at stake in this election, and we need to make sure that every singe one of them understand the choice in front of them,” Fulks said.
The Gallup Poll in late December found Biden’s job approval rating at 39%, which is lower than that of the past seven presidents at the same point in their first terms in office.
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