As he took the stage on Thursday, President Joe Biden showed no concern about the troubles of his son Hunter, charged the same day with illegal possession of a firearm.

The audience gathered on the campus of Largo, Maryland, cheered him and let out cries of joy before he began his speech intended to sweep aside the controversies and return to the heart of his campaign: his economic program, which he calls it “Bidenomics”.

The speech closed, the participants rush to try to shake the hand of the 80-year-old president or to take a photo with him, forgetting for a time the worries of his son, the controversies over his age, the impeachment proceedings targeting him or even polls.

“It’s a distraction, a political distraction,” says Susanna Anderson, 49, about the problems facing the Democratic president, a candidate for re-election in 2024.

“When there is an election coming up, they have to throw something out and see if it works. I’m not focusing on that,” says this mother who was able to pose for a photo with Joe Biden.

The previous evening, the president used the same words – “not to focus” – regarding the announcement that the Republican opposition in Congress had opened an impeachment inquiry targeting him over the controversial cases. of his son abroad.

Likewise, on Thursday, Joe Biden said nothing about the indictment of his younger brother by the federal courts for illegal possession of a firearm, a new thorn in the side of the president candidate.

What about his age? Never before have Americans elected such an old president, and Joe Biden would be 86 years old at the end of a second term, which has earned him a barrage of criticism.

“Did you see him run to the stage? I’m not worried about that,” says Enicia Porter, 34.

“He has a firm handshake…he reminds me of my grandfather,” she continues.

The American president is returning to the ground for his campaign, pushed by the White House which believes that his management of the country’s economic recovery is not being reflected in the polls.

Surrounded by American flags and panels touting his “Bidenomics”, Joe Biden began a new angle of attack on Thursday, that of “MAGAnomics”.

His idea ? Presenting all Republicans as followers of former President Donald Trump – known for his slogan “Make America Great Again” (abbreviated “MAGA” in English) – and emphasizing the latter’s economic failures.

The president also criticized Republicans for putting Americans at risk of a paralysis of the federal administration.

But did he really succeed in convincing an audience of only around 200 residents and students, in a suburb of the federal capital?

The president still has work to do to convince voters, recognizes Don Pruett, 68, a campus official.

The president’s speech “will plant seeds that will need watering over time,” he said. “We need to see the fruits of this.”

Susanna Anderson, for her part, believes that the president is “getting the message out to the people who need to hear it”, including to his sister, who saw her student loan erased by the Biden administration, a policy to which oppose the Republicans, she indicates.

Joe Biden never stopped denouncing Republican spending reduction plans during his speech, even going so far as to hammer his fist on his desk.

Likewise, he castigated the record of his predecessor Donald Trump, who is the subject of a series of criminal charges, and whom he will probably face again in 2024. “Democracy is under attack,” he said. -he warned.

This re-election campaign promises to be “difficult” for Joe Biden fears Don Pruett, but “there is so much chaos on the other side… that if he continues to be stable, Papa Joe will stay there”.

09/15/2023 05:29:25 –        Largo (United States) (AFP) –        © 2023 AFP