Pennsylvania is a big state with 67 counties and 12.9 million people. And state Treasurer Stacy Garrity (R) thinks President Joe Biden should see more of them.

On the day the Scranton native made his 18th trip to heavily-Democratic Philadelphia — more than half of his 27 stops to the Keystone State — Garrity told reporters Biden should get out of his partisan comfort zone in a state that is likely to be competitive yet again in the 2024 presidential campaign.

“It might be hard for him to believe, but we have 67 counties here in Pennsylvania,” quipped Garrity. “I’ve been to every one of them, and let me tell you, the problems here in our commonwealth aren’t limited to just our two southern corners.”

Biden spoke to union members and supporters at the Philly Shipyard and touted “Bidenomics,” his name for the economic policy he has pursued since taking office: Massive government spending in sectors like green technology, COVID relief, and student debt relief.

“A lot of my friends in organized labor know, when I think climate, I think jobs,” the president told the crowd. “Union workers are the best in the world.”

Garrity pointed out to the press that inflation and rising prices still vex Pennsylvania. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported prices for all items other than food and energy increased 3.8 percent last month. The food index rose 5.7 percent in June, while the energy index decreased 17 percent. In the Northeast, all indices rose. Inflation was around 1.36 percent at the end of 2020.

Garrity used those statistics to hold Biden responsible for the current state of the economy. “It’s pretty clear to me that President Biden’s radical tax and spend agenda is directly to blame,” Garrity said. “Families have paid over $10,000 since President Biden took office to afford the same goods under the [increased] cost of living. The debt levels of American families have skyrocketed.”

Biden acknowledged the economic pain remains.

“We got more work to do,” Biden admitted in Philadelphia while vowing green energy and union jobs would move the United States away from any possible recession. “But people are coming off the sidelines to work — and folks, it’s not an accident. It’s my economic plan in action. It’s Bidenomics.”

Meanwhile, Garrity said she believes Bidenomics won’t work in the short or long term. “It will take Pennsylvania families a long time to recover from ‘Bidenomics.’ The main way to make sure they do is to make sure he doesn’t return to the White House.”

Pat Poprik, Bucks County GOP chair, agrees with Garrity, noting that families “are still struggling with rising food prices across the country.”

“Just last month, the price of bread was up 11 percent and frozen vegetables up more than 17 percent,” she said. “This is on top of fuel costs that have continued to make it more expensive to run our businesses and fill our cars. While he’s in Philadelphia, I also hope the President will address the rising crime across the region, spilling into our communities from the city. In Bucks County alone, crime is up while our Democrat commissioners vote against funding additional sheriff’s deputies. We need change in Washington, and we need change here in Bucks County, and it’s so critical our voters come out this November and start to take back our county, our state, and our nation.”

Not surprisingly, area Democratic chairs are still ridin’ with Biden.

Delaware County Democrats Chair Colleen Guiney said, “President Biden has worked effectively with a divided federal government to build our economy from the ‘bottom up’ and ‘middle out.’ This strategy creates opportunities for the majority of Americans rather than the failed ‘trickle down’ plans that benefited the wealthiest Americans.

“Despite world market instability, inflation, and a war in Europe, President Biden has ensured investments in our economy, infrastructure, and environment. These efforts have brought down inflation in the U.S. more rapidly than our neighbors and European allies. I look forward to supporting President Biden as he continues to build a better economy nationally and right here in Delaware County.”

And Charlotte Valyo, chair of the Chester County Democrats, said, “From record job creation to successfully bringing inflation under control to supporting our union workers, President Biden took over with unprecedented economic challenges and has led an American comeback that has defied expectations. People in Chester County and across Pennsylvania have seen firsthand how things improved since President Biden took office, and we are always proud to welcome him back to the commonwealth.”

But the Bidenomics catchphrase doesn’t appear to be tracking well for the president going into the second half of 2023. A Quinnipiac University poll this week found just 37 percent of Americans approve of his handling of the economy. His approval rating hung around 38 percent, as well. However, Biden could win a 2024 rematch against former president Donald Trump. The Quinnipiac poll discovered Biden led Trump 49-44 percent.

In Pennsylvania, things are even tighter. Trump leads Biden 47-46 in a potential rematch, according to Quinnipiac about a month ago. Registered voters found the economy the most important issue, with preserving democracy a close second.

Biden’s support in southeastern Pennsylvania may be waning. A Delaware Valley Journal/Coefficient poll of 759 likely voters revealed 59 percent of people in the region did not believe the country was on the right track. Biden’s approval rating in the Delaware Valley was 43 percent, something Republicans yearn to capitalize on.

“I’m not surprised about that poll,” Garrity commented during the conference call. “I don’t think that’s a sentiment just in Philadelphia. That seems to be a sentiment across the country. So, no surprise there.”

The poll also showed that just 33 percent of registered Democrats believe Biden should run for a second term. Almost half of respondents worried that Biden wasn’t mentally or physically capable of handling some sort of crisis as president.

Biden won about 60 percent of the vote in the region in 2020.

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