Biden to meet with Black voters in Atlanta ahead of Morehouse speech

President Joe Biden will meet Saturday with Black voters at a Black-owned small business in Atlanta. (Steve Schaefer steve.schaefer@ajc.com)

Credit: Steve Schaefer/AJC

Credit: Steve Schaefer/AJC

President Joe Biden will meet Saturday with Black voters at a Black-owned small business in Atlanta. (Steve Schaefer steve.schaefer@ajc.com)

President Joe Biden plans to meet with Black voters in Atlanta on Saturday ahead of his closely watched commencement speech at Morehouse College, the latest in the Democrat’s escalating efforts to shore up his support with a crucial constituency.

The campaign announced the visit Friday in tandem with a memo outlining Biden’s plans to recapture Georgia amid polls that show flagging support among younger and more diverse voters, in part because of backlash over his handling of Israel’s war with Hamas.

Quentin Fulks, Biden’s Georgia-bred principal deputy campaign manager, wrote in the memo about the campaign’s more than 20 in-state staffers and 10 offices that are set to open by the end of the month in Atlanta, Athens, Augusta, Columbus, Macon and Savannah.

“Not only does Trump not have any public staff or offices in Georgia, the RNC’s ‘minority community outreach centers’ in the state have all closed — including an Asian American outreach center in Gwinnett County that is now a sex shop,” the memo states.

The memo also underscored ongoing rifts among Republicans over Donald Trump’s comeback bid, noting Georgia first lady Marty Kemp’s reticence to endorse the former president and ex-Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution op-ed endorsing Biden’s reelection.

“The Biden-Harris campaign will continue to highlight the stark contrast between President Biden’s fight to lower costs, create jobs, and protect our freedoms with Donald Trump’s threats to our health care, our economy, and our democracy,” it states.

Biden became the first Democratic presidential contender to capture the state in nearly three decades when he narrowly defeated Trump in 2020. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock followed with upset U.S. Senate victories in 2021 and 2022.

Republicans see Georgia as a linchpin in Trump’s reelection campaign and promise to devote resources to flipping back the state, and they tout recent polls that show he holds solid leads over Biden.

The details of Biden’s Saturday afternoon campaign event weren’t immediately clear beyond plans to meet voters at a local Black-owned small business.

But it is one of several stops he scheduled over the weekend in Atlanta. Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank is hosting a Saturday fundraiser for Biden, followed by his Morehouse College speech on Sunday.