Biden admin’ on the defense on holding enough meetings with Arab, Muslim American community leaders

Biden administration officials are having ongoing conversations with Arab American and Muslim Americans in Michigan, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday aboard Air Force One en route to Milwaukee where President Joe Biden will be holding a campaign event. 

Biden and community leaders “had a very good back and forth engagement not too long ago,” Jean-Pierre said, referring to a meeting Biden senior held at the White House Arab and Muslim community leaders in November. 

Jean-Pierre also noted that senior administration officials traveled to Michigan last month where they met with Arab and Muslim American leaders.

“I think it’s incredibly important that White House leadership, senior aides have been sent out there to meet with leaders of those communities to listen to their pain,” Jean-Pierre said. “We understand this is an incredibly painful time for people. We think it’s important for people to peacefully protest and make sure their voices are heard.”

Jean-Pierre reiterated that Biden himself has met with Muslim-American leaders and to say otherwise would be untrue. 

Protestors rally for a cease fire in Gaza outside a UAW union hall during a visit by U.S. President Joe Biden in Warren, Michigan, U.S. February 1, 2024. (credit: REBECCA COOK/REUTERS)

Under increasing scrutiny

Biden’s relationship with Arab and Muslim American voters is increasingly under scrutiny as the war continues and the humanitarian situation in Gaza grows more dire. Protest votes are garnering attention and delegates in the primary election. 

Progressives, including Jewish groups, are lobbying Wisconsin voters to vote “uninstructed” in the state’s April 2 primary, according to an email from End The Occupation PAC, the political arm of IfNotNow. 

“For the next week, a multiracial, multi-faith coalition of experienced Wisconsin organizers is working around the clock to organize the votes. And we need Jews all over the country to show up on the phones to send a clear message: we won’t be divided from each other, all of our safety is tied together, and sending more weapons to Netanyahu’s government keeps no one safe,” the email said. 

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