President Joe Biden lambasted conservative firebrand Rep. Lauren Boebert an event in Pueblo on Wednesday to tout job creation on her home turf — credited to a law she opposed.
Biden, struggling with low job approval ratings and continuing concerns about the state of the economy as he gears up for his reelection campaign next year, went directly after Boebert and her fellow Republicans in Congress.
He made his remarks after touring CS Wind, a Pueblo, Colo., wind tower manufacturer that is using tax incentives from Democrats’ 2022 budget reconciliation law to help its expansion. The White House says the company will add an estimated 850 new jobs in Colorado by 2026.
“The historic investment we’re celebrating today is in Congressman Boebert’s district,’’ Biden said, apparently tripping over the word “Congresswoman.” He then paused and made the sign of the cross.
“She’s one of the leaders of this extreme MAGA movement,’’ Biden said. “She, along with every single Republican colleague, voted against the law that made these investments in jobs possible. And that’s not hyperbole, that’s a fact.”
Biden noted that Boebert voted to repeal key parts of the law and called it “a massive failure.”
“You all know you’re part of a massive failure?” Biden told the crowd. “Tell that to 850 Coloradans who’ll get new jobs at CS Wind.”
A fact sheet released Wednesday morning ahead of the president’s event referenced Boebert, a second-term lawmaker in a key 2024 House race, by name. It said she was among the “self-described MAGA Republicans,” a reference to the “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan of former President Donald Trump.
“Not only did they vote against the Inflation Reduction Act, the bipartisan infrastructure law and the other historic investments, but they are trying to repeal them, which would hurt the communities they represent,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One traveling to Colorado Tuesday evening.
In conjunction with the visit, the Department of the Treasury released a new analysis showing that clean energy investments spurred by the Inflation Reduction Act are predominantly flowing to underserved communities and energy communities.
Biden rattled off other components of his economic agenda that were rejected by Boebert and her GOP colleagues, including the CHIPS and Science Act. “And when she voted against the bipartisan infrastructure law, she called it garbage, a scam,’’ Biden said.
The Office of Special Counsel, which offers determinations about potential violations of the law barring federal officials from engaging in political activity in the workplace known as the Hatch Act, has previously criticized the administration for the use of the MAGA term. In this case, the White House is saying specifically that Boebert has referred to herself in that context.
Boebert faced the fight of her political life in 2022, when she beat Democrat Adam Frisch by 546 votes. That was before she was ejected from a performance of “Beetlejuice” for creating a public disturbance. Biden lost the district by about 8 percentage points in 2020, but Boebert’s vulnerabilities have earned her a place on Roll Call’s list of the 10 most vulnerable incumbents. The race in the state’s 3rd District is rated Tilt Republican by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales.
Republicans say Boebert has redoubled her efforts to connect with voters in the district. Frisch, who raised $3.4 million in the third quarter compared to Boebert’s $854,000, is running again. But before she faces him, she’ll have to get past fellow Republican Jeff Hurd, a lawyer who has the backing of several prominent Colorado Republicans. Frisch also faces a primary against Anna Stout, the Democratic mayor of Grand Junction.
Boebert dismissed Biden’s visit to the district and said his economic policies are hurting local residents.
“Families in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District are being crushed by so-called ‘Bidenomics,’” she said in a statement released by her campaign. “On Joe Biden’s watch, credit card debt, inflation, groceries, and gas prices have all reached record highs. These high prices are squeezing working-class Coloradans and rural America. Rather than cutting wasteful federal spending and unleashing American energy production, Joe Biden continues to pander to radical extremists, lock up more land, and spend his time focused on campaign stunts and vacations rather than doing the job he was elected to do.”
Frisch, who has sought to put distance between himself and Biden, told Axios Denver over the summer that he wouldn’t commit to backing his fellow Democrat.
On Wednesday, when Biden was in the district, Frisch planned to be approximately 175 miles away, at the Colorado Ag Water Summit in Loveland, Colo.
“On Wednesday, I will be attending the Colorado Ag Water Summit, which I have been planning to attend for weeks, with agricultural leaders from across the state to discuss water management, drought resilience, and protecting the agricultural industry that is not only vital to our economy in CO-3, but vital to feeding our state and the country,” Frisch said in a statement Tuesday. “From day one of this campaign, I’ve been laser focused on the issues facing Western and Southern Colorado and giving the families, communities, and businesses in CO-3 effective representation — not on national politics or the presidential race. I am excited to remain focused on the issues facing the district.”