CARLSBAD, Calif., Nov 4 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden, struggling to show agitated voters that he is improving the economy, touted his economic policies on Friday and said he plans to talk to the oil companies, as he predicted that the Democrats would prevail. in Tuesday’s midterm elections despite polls showing Republican gains.
In a three-day, four-state campaign, Biden stopped at Viasat Inc. (VSAT.O), a U.S. communications company in Carlsbad, California, to announce efforts to increase production of semiconductor chips and address supply chain issues that erupted early in his presidency.
With some Republican support, Biden signed into law in August the Chips and Science Act to start domestic semiconductor production in response to the slow production of cars and high-tech products like those built by Viasat.
On Viasat, Biden said the latest government jobs report showing the US economy added 261,000 jobs last month is a sign of progress.
He said he plans to have a “come to the Lord” speech with US oil companies soon to complain about their record profits at a time when Americans are paying high prices at the pump.
The meeting has not yet been set up, Biden clarified to reporters after the speech, and the White House said the president was just making it clear he was serious about forcing companies to change their behavior.
Biden declared that inflation is his number one priority, stressing that he takes the economic concerns of Americans seriously as voters go to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether he and his Democrats retain control of Congress. in the US.
“People, our economy will continue to grow and create more jobs even though the price of fuel continues to drop,” he said. “We also know that people are struggling from inflation.” But he said there are “bright spots” where the country is rebounding.
Forecasts show that Republicans are poised to take control of the US House of Representatives and perhaps the Senate as well, giving them the power to block Biden’s legislative agenda over the next two years.
The party in the White House has historically lost control of Congress in the first half of a new president’s term.
Still, Biden said he thinks Democrats can buck the trend this time. “We will win this time. I feel our chances are good,” he said, adding that the Democrats have a good chance of winning the House of Representatives.
Biden’s campaign will culminate in a joint appearance in Philadelphia on Saturday with former President Barack Obama.
Democrats’ electoral hopes have been dented by voter concerns about high inflation, and Biden’s public approval rating has remained below 50% for more than a year, reaching 40%. in a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll.
Biden also warned of what Democrats say are dangers posed by Republicans backed by former President Donald Trump to US democracy.
Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt, Andrea Shalal and Steve Holland; Additional reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Kim Coghill and Josie Kao
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