CV NEWS FEED // Leaders of the large Arab American community in the key swing state of Michigan refused to meet with President Joe Biden’s campaign manager Friday, saying the president’s team is “not welcome.”
The Associated Press (AP) reported that a planned meeting between Biden Campaign Manager Julie Chávez Rodriguez and a group of Arab Michigan Democrats was “canceled after everyone invited — between 10 and 15 people — declined to show up.”
“Other activists went beyond simply not showing up for Rodriguez, as leaders from ‘Abandon Biden,’ a movement discouraging voters from supporting the president in November, spoke to hundreds of people at a local mosque in anticipation of the campaign manager’s visit,” the AP continued:
Both developments highlight the acute challenges the president’s campaign faces as it tries to sure up support among Arab Americans, whose votes will be key in Michigan during November’s election but who have turned on Biden given his full-throated support for Israel in its war with Hamas.
“I don’t believe that the Biden administration, at the senior top level, understands how big of a problem this is and how upset and angry the community is,” stated Democratic Deputy Wayne County Executive Assad Turfe, who was coordinating the sit-down. “As the community got to learn about the meeting, there was definitely a lot of outrage and, ultimately, the decision was made to cancel the meeting.”
Dearborn, MI Mayor Abdullah Hammoud on Thursday evening wrote on X (formerly Twitter):
Little bit of advice – if you’re planning on sending campaign officials to convince the Arab American community on why they should vote for your candidate, don’t do it on the same day you announce selling fighter jets to the tyrants murdering our family members.
Hammoud is a Muslim Democrat who served in the Michigan House of Representatives before being elected Dearborn’s mayor in 2021. He supported socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, in his party’s 2020 primaries and has previously been critical of Biden, especially of his stance on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
A city of over 100,000, Dearborn is an inner-ring suburb of Detroit. According to the 2020 Census, a majority of its residents reported Middle Eastern or North African (MENA) ancestry.
Per the same census, 3.1% of Michigan’s population identified as MENA – by far the largest proportion of any state.
“The Biden campaign did not comment on the cancellation of Friday’s group meeting,” noted The Detroit News. “Other meetings between Rodriguez and individual leaders of the Arab community in Michigan went forward Friday.”
The Detroit News continued:
Israel has denied the genocide charges and had asked the International Court of Justice to toss the case, with Netanyahu saying the fact that the panel was willing to discuss the genocide charges was outrageous and a “mark of shame that will not be erased for generations”
The rebuke from Arab leaders in the state adds to Biden’s mounting Michigan woes.
Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last week conceded that the battleground state is “absolutely” up for play in November. “It’s always going to be close in this state,” she said.
As CatholicVote previously reported:
A December CNN poll of registered voters found that [former President Donald] Trump had a double-digit lead over Biden in [Michigan] (50% to 40%).
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-MI, “expressed concerns that Biden’s bad poll numbers could hurt her race and other down-ballot contests, according to people who have spoken with her.”
“Biden carried Michigan in 2020 by a narrow margin – under three points,” CatholicVote indicated. “In 2016, Trump won the state in a major upset, coming out 11,000 votes – or 0.23% – ahead of Hillary Clinton.”
Arab Americans are not the only traditionally Democratic voting bloc that appears to be turning on the sitting president.
Again from CatholicVote:
In last month’s GenForward poll of black voters, 17% of respondents indicated that they intend to vote for Trump over Biden. That proportion is more than double the 8% of the black vote that then-incumbent President Trump won in 2020.
Indeed, if the poll’s results hold in November, Trump would be the first Republican presidential nominee to win 17% of the black vote since Gerald Ford in 1976.