Biden Bails on Trip to Black Church, Infuriating Local Leaders

( – In 2020, the vast majority of black Americans voted for President Biden. Now, polls suggest a growing number of them plan to back Donald Trump instead. If he wants to keep his hopes of re-election alive, Biden needs to shore up the black vote. So far he doesn’t seem to be doing a great job — and he’s missing easy opportunities.

On March 14, Biden visited Saginaw, Michigan, and one of the planned events for the trip was a visit to a black church. However, for whatever reason, that didn’t happen; instead, the president met two local leaders — both white — then spoke to a single black family on a public golf course. Some locals feel it was a missed opportunity. Others are actively insulted.

The organizers of Biden’s visit had suggested a visit to a church because it would be a venue where he could meet a cross-section of the community who could then go out and knock on doors after the event. The president’s team had even picked a location, the New Life Baptist Church. Then — it isn’t clear why — the plan changed.

Dr. Craig Tatum, the senior pastor at New Life, said he wasn’t given any reason for the visit being canceled. Another pastor, Hurley Coleman Jr, called the decision a “missed opportunity” for Biden to have some real contact with Saginaw’s black community “as opposed to what we saw.” Although he supports the president, he said something like the planned church event “really needs to happen.”

Saginaw resident Pamela Pugh, who’s president of the Michigan Board of Education, was even more critical. She called the change of plans as a “slight” on black voters; Pugh said when the visit to the city was announced it “seemed like it was to meet… communities of color.” She’s disappointed that didn’t happen.

At this point, losing support among black Americans isn’t something Biden can afford to do. In 2020, 92% of black voters backed Biden. The latest polling says that’s fallen to 63% — and any more of a swing could be enough to hand victory to Trump.

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