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Biden highlights vision for second term in call with Democratic mayors

By Lauren Sforza - 7/10/24, 7:51 AM EDT

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President Biden outlined his vision for a second term in a call with Democratic mayors Tuesday, as he hopes to strengthen support within his base for his reelection bid.

He joined a call with nearly 200 Democratic mayors from across the country Tuesday night, where he discussed how he would focus on reducing costs for working families if elected to a second term, according to the campaign. He also outlined several other familiar priorities, including making prescription drug prices more affordable, making community college free and implementing universal background checks for gun purchases and banning assault rifles.

“We’re going to make sure that we focus on the things that affect people in my city in Wilmington, Delaware, my hometown, as well as yours," he said on the call, per the campaign.

Mayor Cory Mason, from Racine, Wis., told The New York Times that Biden took three questions on the roughly 40-minute call. He also noted that the president again acknowledged that he had a "lousy night" during the debate last month, before running through his usual policy points about health care, abortion rights and former President Trump, according to The Times.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, president of the Democratic Mayors Association, introduced Biden on the call and later moderated the question-and-answer portion, The Times reported. When asked how mayors can work with the Biden-Harris administration "to protect the progress made," the incumbent talked about how he is running the campaign across the country, according to his team.

"We’ve made thousands of calls. We’re putting up hundreds of signs all across America. We’re getting people to engage and go out and knock on doors," Biden said.

After the call, the Democratic Mayors Association reaffirmed their support for Biden.

“The stakes of this election could not be higher, and the choice could not be more clear. We need a President and Vice President who will champion working families, defend our democracy, and protect our freedoms," the association said Tuesday in a statement. "Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are that President and Vice President, and President Biden showed tonight that he is fully committed to working with us to defeat Donald Trump once and for all."

In response to the call, other mayors also doubled down on their backing of Biden.

"I just got off the @DemMayors call with The President. He is locked in and determined to beat Donald Trump, build on his outstanding record of job creation, rebuilding our infrastructure, reducing prescription drug prices, and protecting women's rights," Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens wrote on the social platform X.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said Biden's vision for the country is "far better" than Trump's, calling the president's priorities "solid."

"Mayors have @JoeBiden’s back and we’ll help reelect him and @KamalaHarris this fall," he wrote in a post on X following the call.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg both said they were proud to support Biden and Vice President Harris ahead of November.

"I look forward to welcoming Democrats from across the country to Chicago, the greatest city in the world, for the Democratic National Convention next month," Johnson wrote on X.

"As a @DemMayors board member and a major city mayor that actually served during the Trump administration, the choice is clear,"Nirenberg posted. "I’m standing with Biden-Harris because they know that mayors — and cities — matter."

Biden is facing mounting calls to step aside and let someone else take the reins against Trump in November. This includes sitting lawmakers from within his own party, as well as numerous Democrat pundits and candidates for office.

Biden has emphasized that he will not withdraw from the race.

“The bottom line here is we’re not going anywhere. I’m not going anywhere,” he said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Monday. “I’m not letting up, Joe. I’m not letting up even a little bit.”

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