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Biden Looks to Sharpen Voter Choice    07/16 06:02

   President Joe Biden returns to the campaign trail Tuesday for the first time 
since the attempted assassination of his Republican rival, former President 
Donald Trump, aiming to sharpen the choice voters will face this November in 
the wake of the attack.

   LAS VEGAS (AP) -- President Joe Biden returns to the campaign trail Tuesday 
for the first time since the attempted assassination of his Republican rival, 
former President Donald Trump, aiming to sharpen the choice voters will face 
this November in the wake of the attack.

   Biden will speak at the NAACP convention in Las Vegas, aiming to showcase 
his administration's support for Black voters who are a tentpole of the 
Democratic coalition and of his personal political support. He'll also 
participate in an interview with BET. And a day later he'll address UnidosUS, 
looking to bolster his appeal to Latino voters, another crucial 
Democratic-leaning bloc.

   Biden's remarks to both groups come as Democrats have been engaged in a 
weeks-long crisis of confidence over Biden's candidacy after his devastating 
debate with Trump last month. The president's shaky performance inflamed voter 
concerns about his age, fitness for office and capacity to defeat Trump once 
again.

   Republicans, for their part, are demonstrating that they are more coalesced 
than ever around Trump as they go through with their national convention in 
Milwaukee.

   Biden has rejected a flurry of calls from within his party to step aside, 
restating his belief that he is the best-positioned Democrat to beat Trump. He 
has relied heavily on his support among Black and Latino elected officials, and 
was set to appear with many of them in Nevada.

   Trump has tried to appeal to both Black and Latino voters, hoping to 
capitalize on Biden's sagging favorability. While it's not clear that the loss 
of enthusiasm for Biden has helped Trump's approval with those groups, any 
marginal loss of support for Biden could prove pivotal in a close race.

   "While Trump and MAGA Republicans showcase their Project 2025 agenda at the 
Republican National Convention, the president will be rallying the backbone of 
the Biden-Harris coalition," Biden spokesman Kevin Munoz said.

   The president and his campaign hit pause on their criticisms of Trump in the 
immediate aftermath of the shooting Saturday at Trump's rally in Pennsylvania, 
where the Republican candidate was injured in the ear, a rallygoer was killed 
and two others seriously injured.

   In an Oval Office address on Sunday night, Biden called on Americans to 
reject political violence and for political leaders to "cool it down." But he 
indicated in a Monday interview with NBC News that he was still committed to 
calling Trump a threat to American democracy.

   Biden did allow that he made a " mistake " when he told campaign donors that 
he wanted to put a "bull's-eye" on Trump, but he argued that the rhetoric from 
his opponent was more incendiary.

   "Look, how do you talk about the threat to democracy, which is real, when a 
president says things like he says?" Biden said. "Do you just not say anything 
because it may incite somebody?"

   NAACP President Derrick Johnson, in an interview with the AP, sidestepped 
questions about whether Biden should step aside as the Democratic nominee and 
whether the president, who often credits his place in the Oval Office to Black 
voters, could still inspire people to turn out for his candidacy.

   Johnson instead focused on the need for Black voters to hear "solutions" on 
issues like inflation, education and attacks on civil rights, which are among 
the top concerns for Black communities in this election.

   "I expect him to share what his policy priorities will be if he is 
reelected. We want to focus on the policy goals of whoever occupies the White 
House in the next term," Johnson said. He added that Black voters would dismiss 
candidates "concerned with personality and sound bites."

   At an economic summit hosted by Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Steven 
Horsford, Biden was also set to unveil policy actions to tame rising housing 
costs, a critical issue in the battleground state.

   Biden is to announce a proposal to cap rent increases at 5% for tenants 
whose landlords own over 50 units. If landlords hiked rents by more than that, 
they would lose access to tax write-offs tied to the depreciation of their 
buildings. The Bureau of Land Management is also opening up public comments to 
sell 20 acres of public land in Clark County, Nevada, for home construction.

   But Biden's proposal would require congressional approval that he's unlikely 
to receive with a House Republican majority -- a sign that his proposal is more 
about political messaging at a critical juncture.

   Trump has also used Nevada to float new economic policies. He said he would 
end taxes on the tips received by workers in the service-industry focused 
state, a concept that has since been endorsed by Nevada's Democratic senators, 
Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto.

 
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