President Joe Biden arrives in Phoenix
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5/AP) — President Joe Biden arrived in Phoenix on Wednesday night, ahead of his democracy-focused speech that will also pay tribute to the late Sen. John McCain. The pilot landed Air Force One just after 8:05 p.m. at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. President Biden got off the plane without any problems at 8:15 p.m. and talked briefly with Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, who greeted him. He then got into the presidential state car known as The Beast and went to an undisclosed location in the Valley. Earlier in the day, President Biden was raising campaign cash in San Francisco.
This is the second time in as many months he has been in Arizona. Last month, he signed a national monument designation for the Grand Canyon and the surrounding areas, preserving about 1,562 square miles.
On Thursday, Biden will speak in the Valley about McCain, whose memorial in Hanoi Biden visited earlier this month during his trip to India and Vietnam. “I miss him,” Biden said of McCain at the memorial, located near where McCain’s Skyhawk dive bomber was shot down in 1967 by the North Vietnamese. McCain spent more than five years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. “He was a good friend,” said Biden.
Though his speech in Arizona is billed as an official White House event, the issue of preserving democracy is expected to be a key theme in his reelection campaign.
Biden’s trip to the West this week is counterprogramming of sorts as a government shutdown looms, House Republicans launch impeachment hearings, the Republican debate unfolds and Donald Trump makes a campaign stop in Michigan to court autoworkers.
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