By Timothy Dashiell
BOWIE – President Joe Biden, stomping here at a rally for the state’s Democratic candidates on the eve of Election Day, stressed the importance of voter turnout and the dangers of giving the power back to the Republican party.
“We need you to come out and vote, and vote for the people that will actually maintain the progress we’ve made these last two years.” Biden told a crowd of about 1,500 people gathered in the Leonidas James PE Complex at Bowie State University, a historically Black university.
Biden told the mostly Black crowd that because African Americans voted for him, he was able to accomplish much, like his nomination of the first Black woman to the Supreme Court, the lower unemployment rate among African Americans and more federal funds for historically Black colleges and universities.
He warned that if Republicans take control of Congress, they would try to rollback groundbreaking climate change legislation he initiated and Congress approved.
Biden’s biggest cheers and applause came when he discussed legalizing recreational cannabis, which is one of the choices Maryland voters will decide Nov. 8.
“We need to stop arresting people for the possession of marijuana.” Biden told the enthusiastic crowd.
With close Senate and gubernatorial races in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and New York, Biden, his wife, first lady Jill Biden, and two former presidents, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, have been crisscrossing the country over the past week to rev up support among Democratic voters and to possibly sway some Independents.
Clinton was in South Texas Monday to support Democratic candidates, including Beto O’Rourke, who is running for governor, and Rep. Henry Cuellar, who is defending his seat against former staffer for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Cassy Garcia.
He was in New York Sunday in support of New York Gov. Kathy Hochul. Obama has campaigned for Democrats in tight races in Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Texas.
Biden was joined in Bowie by his wife. While Biden was in Maryland, former President Donald Trump was scheduled to be in Ohio Monday night campaigning for Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance, a best-selling author, who is in a tight race with Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan.
Trump has also been visiting numerous cities, such as Miami earlier this week, where he urged Republicans to vote for candidates he endorses, many who support his false accusation that the 2020 presidential election he lost was marred by voter fraud.
“These election deniers are trying to deny your right to have your vote counted.” Biden said. “The election works one of two ways for them, either they win or we cheated.”
Biden is trying to boost voter turnout for Democrats Wes Moore, who is running for governor, attorney general candidate Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Prince George’s and Baltimore Del. Brooke Lierman, who hopes to become the state’s first woman comptroller.
“Here in Maryland you all got some great people to vote for. Keep them, you need them. I need them.” Biden said.
Before coming to Maryland, Biden spent the weekend in New York and Pennsylvania campaigning for Democratic candidates while lambasting Trump and the “Make America Great Again” candidates and people who support the falsehood that the 2020 election was stolen.
Moore is running against a candidate backed by Trump, Dan Cox. Cox, an attorney and one-term member of the Maryland House Delegates, supports Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was stolen and sponsored two buses to Trump’s ill-fated Jan. 6, 2020 rally that devolved into a seditious riot.
Trump held a fundraiser for Cox at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., last month.