WASHINGTON — Among the favorite family expressions Joe Biden is fond of quoting is this one from his father: “Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value,” NBC’s Mike Memoli writes.
Biden’s White House carefully budgets how the president spends his time and where he spends it. And a year before the midterm elections, a close study of his travel itinerary since taking office offers some potential clues as to what political real estate the Biden White House sees as most valuable to his and his party’s political future.
Today, to sell the bipartisan infrastructure bill he signed into law, President Biden will return to Michigan for the fifth time since taking office. He’s visited only Pennsylvania (seven trips) and Virginia (six) more in that time, according to our review of the president’s daily schedule.
Overall, Biden has been to 21 states this year on official travel. And what stands out most perhaps is where he hasn’t gone much, or at all — just one trip so far to Florida, for instance, and none yet to Nevada or Arizona. Biden has visited Ohio three times, and Wisconsin and Georgia just twice.
He’s made just one trip west of the Rocky Mountains as president, a multi-day jaunt that included a mix of disaster assessment stops in Idaho and California, followed by a campaign stop for Gavin Newsom and a message event for his economic agenda in Colorado.
The ongoing pandemic and Biden’s age — he turns 79 this weekend — are undeniable factors keeping the president from a more rigorous travel schedule this year. He’s also been grounded in Washington for extended stretches around legislative deadlines and the crisis in Afghanistan.
Biden, of course, has left Washington frequently for other reasons, making 26 primarily personal trips to Delaware and 12 to Camp David, mostly on weekends.
White House officials have been saying they expect the president to be a major player in the midterm election campaign, particularly when most of the legislative heavy lifting is fully behind him.
Here are the number of times Biden has visited an individual state as president, which excludes trips to Delaware and Camp David where he has no official events:
- Pennsylvania – 7
- Virginia – 6 (tally does not include visits to Arlington National Cemetery and agency visits)
- Michigan – 5
- Delaware – 4
- Maryland – 3
- New York – 3
- Ohio – 3
- Connecticut – 2
- Georgia – 2
- Illinois – 2
- Louisiana – 2
- New Jersey – 2
- Wisconsin – 2
- California – 1
- Colorado – 1
- Florida – 1
- Idaho – 1
- New Hampshire – 1
- North Carolina – 1
- Oklahoma – 1
- Texas – 1
Data Download: The numbers you need to know today
40 percent: The portion in a new Politico/Morning Consult poll who say President Biden “is in good health,” with 50 percent disagreeing.
$63,000: How much Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tells The Hill she’s been fined for not wearing a mask on the House floor, adding she has not been vaccinated against Covid-19.
29: The number of days until Dec. 15, the date Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen says is the deadline to raise the debt ceiling.
5: The margin that Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick won the Florida 20th District’s Democratic primary by, making her the likely next congresswoman from the safely Democratic district.
47,328,486: The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 92,422 more since yesterday morning.)
768,728: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far, per the most recent data from NBC News. (That’s 1,439 more since yesterday morning.)
58.9 percent: The share of all Americans who are fully vaccinated, per the CDC.
70.6 percent: The share of all Americans 18-years and older who are fully vaccinated, per the CDC
Today’s censure vote against Gosar
The House is expected to vote today on a resolution that both censures Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., and removes him from the both House Oversight and Reform Committee and the Natural Resources Committee, NBC’s Capitol Hill team reports.
The Oversight Committee’s members also include Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. Gosar last week posted an altered animated video that depicted him killing Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Biden.
As we wrote last week, the violent images and rhetoric coming from Republicans and GOP voters — just months after Jan. 6 — is a dangerous situation.
If Republicans take control of the House in 2023, expect them to seek retribution on these censure efforts — even if the offenses aren’t as serious.
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Fox News hosts blast House committee for releasing Jan. 6 text messages they sent to Meadows
Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham on Tuesday night lashed out at the Jan. 6 committee for releasing text messages the Fox News hosts sent to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows during the attack on the Capitol.
The messages, provided by Meadows to the committee and read aloud Monday evening by Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., during a meeting of the investigative panel, showed at least three Fox News hosts were urging Meadows to have then President Donald Trump call off the rioters and end the violence.
Hannity on Tuesday said his text message asking “Can [Trump] make a statement asking people to leave the Capitol?” was “one of” the texts he sent to Meadows on Jan. 6. But he focused his criticism on what he called the committee’s partisan work and said the release of his texts was an invasion of privacy.
“I am an honest straightforward person. I say the same thing in private that I say to all of you. Liz Cheney knows this. She doesn’t seem to care. She’s interested in one thing and one thing only — smearing Donald Trump and purging him from the party.”
The nine-member committee includes two Republicans: Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.
Hannity, who criticized the 2020 presidential election process in the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack, did not address the texts on Monday’s broadcast of his show in which he interviewed Meadows, after the messages were made public.
Cheney on Monday also read from a text Ingraham sent to Meadows.
“Mark, the president needs to tell the people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy,” Ingraham texted.
On her Tuesday night show, Ingraham said the House committee and media reports have misrepresented her actions on Jan. 6.
“The entire Jan. 6 campaign has become one of revenge and defamation, of false characterization and false equivalencies,” she said.
Ingraham also directed her ire toward Cheney, saying the release of the texts “ignores the facts of that day.”
Among Ingraham’s public remarks after the Jan. 6 attack was a suggestion that antifa was partly responsible for the violence.
Fox News host Brian Kilmeade also texted Meadows during the riot.
“Please get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished,” Kilmeade texted.
Cheney and other members of the Jan. 6 committee released the text messages ahead of advancing a criminal contempt referral for Meadows after he defied a subpoena to testify. The House voted on Tuesday evening to refer the measure to the Justice Department, which will then decide whether to pursue the matter.
Some of the texts to Meadows also came from GOP lawmakers who apparently worked to delay or halt the counting of electoral votes. The lawmakers were not named by the committee.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters on Tuesday that he was not in personal contact with Meadows or any other White House officials on Jan. 6.
“But I do think we’re both watching, as you are, what is unfolding on the House side,” he said. “And it will be interesting to reveal all of the participants who were involved.”
Julie Tsirkin contributed.