CARLSBAD, Calif., Nov 4 (Reuters) – Struggling to show voters that he has boosted the economy, U.S. President Joe Biden touted his economic policies on Friday and said he planned to talk to oil companies as he predicted that Democrats would prevail in Tuesday’s midterm elections despite polls showing Republican gains.
On a three-day, four-state campaign swing, Biden at Viasat Inc. ( VSAT.O ), a U.S. communications firm based in Carlsbad, Calif., halted efforts to increase semiconductor chip production and resolve supply chain issues that erupted early. his presidency.
With some Republican support, Biden signed the Chips and Science Act in August to jump-start domestic semiconductor production in response to slowing production of cars and high-tech products like those built by Viasat.
At Viasat, Biden said the administration’s latest jobs report showing the US economy added 261,000 jobs last month was a sign of progress.
He said he plans to have a “come to God” conversation with American oil companies soon to complain about their record profits at a time when Americans are paying high prices at the pump.
The meeting hasn’t been set yet, Biden explained to reporters after the speech, and the White House said the president was just making clear he was serious about forcing companies to change their behavior.
Biden has declared inflation his number one priority, stressing that he takes Americans’ economic concerns seriously as voters head to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether he and his Democrats hold on to control of the US Congress.
“Folks, our economy continues to grow and add jobs, even as gas prices continue to fall,” he said. “We also know people struggle with inflation.” But he said there were “bright spots” where the country was recovering.
Projections show that Republicans are poised to take control of the US House of Representatives and perhaps the Senate, which would give them the power to block Biden’s legislative agenda for the next two years.
The party in the White House historically loses control of Congress during the first half of a new president’s term.
However, Biden said he thinks the Democrats can reverse the trend this time. “We’re going to win this time. I feel very good about our chances,” he said, adding that Democrats have a good chance of winning the House of Representatives.
Biden’s campaign swing will conclude with a joint appearance in Philadelphia on Saturday with former President Barack Obama.
Democrats’ election hopes have been hurt by voters’ 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 about what Democrats say are the dangers Republicans, backed by former President Donald Trump, pose to American 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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