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‘Get ’em Joe’: Biden touts record at Historic Westside rally — PHOTOS

Updated February 4, 2024 - 9:04 pm

President Joe Biden told supporters in Las Vegas that he is “just getting started” with his presidency and urged Nevadans to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in 2024.

“We have to make sure we stand for the truth,” Biden said at a rally in the Historic Westside, two days before Nevada’s presidential primary.

“We must make it clear that in America, just like all of you do in Nevada, we still believe in honesty, decency, dignity and respect,” he added, drawing cheers and a “Get ‘em, Joe” from the crowd.

The 46th president came to the Silver State to campaign ahead of Tuesday’s primary, where Nevada Democrats are likely to choose him as their Democratic nominee, although candidates Marianne Williamson, Jason Palmer and others hope to receive votes as well.

Biden spoke to a rally of around 400 supporters in the Westside, which in the 1950s had served as a hub for Black-owned businesses, including the Moulin Rouge Hotel, the first integrated hotel-casino in Las Vegas. The neighborhood was a harbor for Black entertainers who had worked on the Strip but were not allowed to stay there.

Biden highlighted his record as president, including bringing 15 million jobs to the United States and 285,000 new jobs to Nevada; passing the American Rescue Plan; and pushing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which created 40,000 projects across the country, he said. Biden also boasted a diverse administration and noted his cabinet has more women than men, and he lauded his nomination of the first Black woman to the Supreme Court.

He promoted the $3 billion in federal funding for the Brightline West high-speed rail project that would connect Las Vegas with Los Angeles. While touting those achievements, Biden also addressed the promises he had originally made in his first term, such as canceling student loan debt.

“The United States Supreme Court blocked me, but they didn’t stop me,” he said, describing how he managed to cancel debt for 3.7 million Americans.

If re-elected, he plans to bring back Roe v. Wade, ban assault weapons, protect Medicare and Social Security and continue to cancel student loan debt.

He also took swings at GOP front-runner Donald Trump, who will likely receive Nevada Republicans’ support in the caucuses on Thursday. Biden accused Trump of pushing another billionaire tax credit and criticized him for calling Jan. 6 insurrectionists “patriots.”

Ahead of Biden’s appearance, Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford discussed some of Biden’s accomplishments, such as capping the cost of insulin at $35 for seniors, limiting out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs for seniors and improving broadband and internet connectivity.

“Our vote is our voice,” Horsford said to women and Black, LGBTQ, Native American and other communities. That voice must be used at the ballot box to protect democracy and elect an administration that will support women’s reproductive health, housing and workers’ rights to unionize, he said.

How his supporters feel

DeSean Brewer, a Las Vegas resident and student at Nevada State University, was invited by his college to come out and hear Biden talk about his accomplishments and what the campaign could bring.

Brewer, 25, wants to be engaged with community leaders and get the youth involved and see the importance of voting. Brewer voted for Biden in 2020, although he said wasn’t sure about his vote. He plans on voting for Biden in November, and he is also considering participating in Tuesday’s primary.

Brewer knows Biden is older — 81 — but for him it’s more important what Biden can get accomplished if he is re-elected.

“It’s all about your impact and experience, never your age,” Brewer said.

Ashley Dodson, a Las Vegas resident, wants to make an impact on her community and wants to be an advocate for the Black and brown communities.

“The presidency and this election is very important,” Dodson said. “I know that we always say that, that the one that’s going on is the most important. But I feel like this one actually has some detrimental effects that will happen if we don’t keep involved and active.”

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on X.

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