President Biden met with former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter on Thursday in their hometown of Plains, Ga. The trip, which comes on Biden’s 100th day in office, is part of an effort to celebrate his early accomplishments in office and make the push for trillions in new spending that would reshape the nation’s economy.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters traveling to Georgia with Biden that he was visiting with Carter, 96, because he has a “longstanding friendship” with him. The two spoke the night before Biden’s inauguration — which the Carters were unable to attend because of the coronavirus pandemic — and Biden had said he would try to get together with Carter while in the state.
“Joe Biden was my first and most effective supporter in the Senate,” Carter said in a video for Biden during last year’s Democratic National Convention. “For decades, he’s been my loyal and dedicated friend.”
Biden was the first Democrat to win the state of Georgia since former President Bill Clinton nearly 30 years ago. The state also helped Democrats gain a technical majority in the Senate, following wins by Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in a pair of runoff elections in January.
From Plains, Biden was scheduled to host a drive-in rally near Atlanta. Biden is expected to use the event to tout his administration’s work in combating the coronavirus crisis and make a pitch for his plans to help the battered U.S. economy recover from the pandemic and get Americans back to work.
The Georgia visit follows Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, where he implored lawmakers to work together to prove “that our government still works — and can deliver” for the American people.
During that speech, Biden outlined a sweeping agenda centered on investments in infrastructure, children and families. At the center of that agenda is his newly unveiled American Families Plan, a $1.8 trillion proposal designed to lower the cost of child care, provide billions for paid family leave and expand access to education. Biden is also seeking to pass a $2 trillion infrastructure plan that he calls a “once-in-a-generation” investment in the United States.