Atlanta debate: What better place for Biden to spotlight his record than Georgia?

Congresswoman Nikema Williams. (Credit: Democratic Party of Georgia)

Read the guest commentary from Republican Party Chairman Josh McKoon here.

Here in Georgia, we welcome being the center of the political universe. In 2020, Georgia Democrats shocked the nation when we flipped the state blue in a presidential race for the first time in nearly three decades and sent Joe Biden to the White House — and then, just weeks later, elected not one but two Democratic U.S. senators, clinching the Senate majority. It’s not an exaggeration to say that in the last presidential election, Georgia Democrats changed the trajectory of the country.

So it’s only fitting that Georgia will be the center of the political universe once again this week, when President Biden takes the debate stage against felon Donald Trump. 

When the two candidates hit the stage in Atlanta, the stark choice between them — and the visions they offer for our country — will be on full display. Voters in Georgia and across the country will see that while Donald Trump is running an extreme, divisive campaign for his own revenge and retribution, President Biden is running on his record of delivering for working families.

And what better place for President Biden to spotlight his record than Georgia? Since he took office, President Biden’s economic plan has brought nearly $23 billion in investments to the Peach State that have created nearly 30,000 jobs, largely in the green energy industries of the future — making us the No. 2 state in the entire country for clean energy investments. 

President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ leadership has been transformational for Georgia, addressing the challenges unique to our history and investing in a thriving future for us. For example, I worked alongside the administration to secure more than $150 million to reconnect historic Black Atlanta neighborhoods that were devastated by redlining during the Jim Crow era, connecting them to resources and opportunity. President Biden capped insulin at $35 a month for seniors, an achievement whose significance can’t be overstated in Georgia, a state with one of the e highest rates of diabetes and a health care system struggling under failed Republican state leadership. His administration has invested a record $16 billion in our historically Black colleges and universities nationwide, securing a bright future for these storied institutions and their students. The list goes on. This is the record that Georgians will be hearing about on the debate stage.

While a lot has changed for Georgia since President Biden took office, one thing remains the same: We are still a battleground state. Winning again won’t be easy, but we are more than up to the challenge.

President Biden and Georgia Democrats are delivering for Georgians every day — and making sure they know about it. President Biden is is s investing in staff and opening offices in every corner of our state; he’s reaching out to Georgia voters early and often on the e airwaves; and he and Vice President Harris have visited the Peach State more than a dozen combined times since taking office because they know Georgia voters matter.

Meanwhile, Georgia Republicans are stuck in the past and locked in the grip of Trump’s election-denying extremism. They’ve spent this year raising money for Trump’s legal defense fund; the state party has burned nearly $2 million on legal fees for its election-denying VIPs; and they’ve shuttered the minority outreach centers they bragged about opening just last cycle. Republicans know that their extreme “Make America Great Again” agenda is out of touch with Georgians, so they’re resorting to passing new w voter suppression laws with the hope they can win by keeping us away from the ballot box.

When Donald Trump steps on the debate stage this week, Georgians will see that he has nothing to offer except the same dangerous extremism they’ve already rejected before. Republicans seem to think they can simply suppress enough votes for Trump to win anyway, but Georgia Democrats know better.

President Biden said last month, “Georgia is the reason I’m president right now,” and he’s right. This will be true in 2024, too. The choice that Georgia voters make at the ballot box will decide the presidency — and along with it, the future of our access to health care, reproductive freedom, voting rights, equitable economic growth and so much more. We’re looking forward to President Biden highlighting that clear choice onstage here at the center of the political universe on Thursday, June 27.

Nikema Williams is chair of the Georgia Democratic Party and a U.S. representative from Georgia. Find her on X at @RepNikema.

How to watch the debate

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will go head-to-head in the first presidential debate of the 2024 general election this Thursday, June 27, in Atlanta. The event, beginning at 9 p.m. EDT and lasting 90 minutes, will be moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash at CNN’s Atlanta studios. You can watch the debate live on CNN and Max, the streaming service previously known as HBO Max. The debate will also be available on CNN’s website.

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