President Joe Biden lands in Los Angeles on two-day West Coast trip

President Joe Biden landed in Los Angeles shortly after 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12, to kick off a two-day tour of the Southland — which will include visits to Brentwood and Orange County later this week.

Sen. Alex Padilla, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Rep. Karen Bass, greeted the president on the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport as he deplaned Air Force One. The group exchanged brief conversation, hugs and handshakes before Biden departed once more on Marine One, a presidential helicopter.

Biden, nor the other elected officials present, stopped to give remarks or address the gaggle of reporters on the runway.

And @POTUS is officially landed! pic.twitter.com/NLqu3ou6Gt

— Kristy Hutchings (@krhutchings) October 12, 2022

Though details regarding Biden’s schedule remain scant, Biden will make an appearance at an LA Metro station in Brentwood to discuss “historic investments in our nation’s infrastructure” on Oct. 13, the White House said.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One that Bass will be among those joining Biden at the Metro event on Thursday.

President Joe Biden landed in L.A. on Wednesday, Oct. 12, for a two-day swing through Southern California. On the tarmac to greet him included Sen. Alex Padilla, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Rep. Karen Bass. (Photo by Kristy Hutchings).

“Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we have made historic infrastructure investments in public transit projects like L.A.’s Purple Line,” Jean-Pierre said, “which will create jobs and opportunities, reduce traffic and pollution, and increase opportunities across L.A.”

Biden will also attend a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser on Thursday, and will travel to Orange County on Oct. 14 to speak about lowering costs for Americans at Irvine Valley College.

The president’s Orange County visit will highlight “his efforts to lower prescription drug costs, protect Medicare and strengthen Social Security, and to fight efforts by congressional Republicans to put Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block and reinstate giveaways to Big Pharma,” Jean-Pierre.

The president last visited Los Angeles in June, when he hosted the Summit of the Americas — a gathering of global political leaders. He also headlined two Democratic National Committee fundraisers on that trip. More recently, first lady Jill Biden visited LA last month to deliver a  commencement speech to Los Angeles Community College graduates, among other things.

This time around, the president arrived in the region mere weeks before the midterm elections — during which the Democratic Party, and the largely unpopular chief executive, are fighting to maintain majority control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

President Biden’s Marine One lands at LAX pic.twitter.com/i1kXFwpwgM

— Sarah Reingewirtz (@sarahimages) October 12, 2022

In California, for example, Padilla — appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to fill the empty seat in 2021 after Kamala Harris was sworn-in as vice president — is up against Republican attorney Mark Meuser. Residents will cast two votes for the same seat come Election Day — one to determine which candidate will complete the remainder of Harris’ term, set to expire in January; and one to decide who will serve a full six-year term ending in 2029.

Biden’s plan to highlight the Democratic Party’s success in areas of high concern to California voters — including that party’s recent approval of a sweeping climate and health care investment package and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act  — is likely a political strategy aimed at propping up local liberal candidates moving closer to Nov. 8.

But rising gas prices — California has the highest in the nation at roughly $6.20 a gallon — will be an unwelcome political backdrop for Biden, who touted Congress’ Inflation Reduction Act as a long-term to solution to rising costs of living across the country.

The president also weighed in on the high-profile scandal gripping the L.A. City Council on Oct. 11, a day before his LA trip — joining many officials calling for the resignations of three council members involved in a racist conversation that was recorded and leaked earlier this week. The White House press secretary said Tuesday that the president believed the trio should all step down.

@POTUS has deplaned, and is chitchatting with @AlexPadilla4CA @KarenBassLA and @MayorOfLA pic.twitter.com/qd5OC3b8M5

— Kristy Hutchings (@krhutchings) October 12, 2022

“I spoke to him about it yesterday,” Jean-Pierre said at a White House briefing on Tuesday. “The president is glad to see one of the participants in that conversation has resigned, but they all should. He believes that they all should resign.”

L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez — who is at the center of the scandal — resigned on Wednesday, ahead of Biden touching down in L.A.

Biden will leave L.A. on Friday evening. He’ll head to Portland, Ore. to participate in a grassroots volunteer event with the Oregon Democrats, according to the White House.

The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report. 

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