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President Biden visits southeastern Wisconsin to tout Microsoft investment

Biden spoke Wednesday at Gateway Technical College in Racine County.

President Biden visits southeastern Wisconsin to tout Microsoft investment

Source: Stuart Wattles / Civic Media

May 8, 2024 1:17 PM CDT
By: Jimmie Kaska

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STURTEVANT, Wis. (WRJN) – President Joe Biden visited Wisconsin on Wednesday to talk about a large investment by Microsoft in building a new data center in southeast Wisconsin.

The $3.3 billion investment includes the construction of facilities, such as the country’s first manufacturing-focused AI lab, according to the company.

Biden, speaking at Gateway Technical College in Racine County, said that the move shows that his agenda is promoting economic recovery and job growth in the country.

“Since I got into office, we’ve added nearly 4,000 jobs in Racine, and 178,000 in the state of Wisconsin,” Biden said. “It’s only just beginning.”

Several Wisconsin Democratic party members were on hand for the remarks.

“Thanks to this new $3.3 billion investment, Wisconsin will see 2,300 union construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs over time, as Microsoft constructs a new, state-of-the-art AI data center,” Ben Wikler, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, said. “President Biden is delivering real jobs and investment to southeast Wisconsin.”

Senator Tammy Baldwin said that the news is “welcome” and will help in creating new jobs in the state.

“Wisconsin is the obvious choice for Microsoft: We have a second-to-none workforce, a proud tradition of innovation, & high quality of life,” Baldwin said.

Other attendees included Gov. Tony Evers and local government leaders in Racine County.

“This is a watershed moment for Wisconsin and a critical part of our work to build a 21st-century workforce and economy in the Badger State,” Evers said.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers speaks ahead of President Joe Biden in Sturtevant, Wis. on May 8, 2024. Biden announced that Microsoft will invest $3.3 billion into southeastern Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers speaks ahead of President Joe Biden in Sturtevant, Wis. on May 8, 2024. Biden announced that Microsoft will invest $3.3 billion into southeastern Wisconsin.

Biden also used the speech to criticize former president Donald Trump over Foxconn, a company that promoted a $10 billion investment in the area, but only ended up providing part of what they set out to do.

“They wasted hundreds of millions of state and local taxpayer dollars to promise a project that never happened,” Biden said. “Foxconn turned out to be just that: A con.”

Republicans were critical of the visit, citing Biden’s economic policies, inflation, and job numbers that they claim are inflated by pandemic recovery.

“Today’s exciting announcement of Microsoft’s plan to create thousands more jobs in Racine County has very little to do with President Biden and everything to do with the efforts of local elected officials, local economic development leaders and Microsoft, itself,” Assembly Rep. Robin Vos said.

Vos added that the speech on Wednesday “diminished” local efforts and called it a “presidential re-election stunt.”

Gateway Technical College's Met Center in Sturtevant, Wis.
Gateway Technical College’s Met Center in Sturtevant, Wis.

Wisconsin’s Congressional representatives were also critical of the president.

“While he is here, President Biden should stop at a grocery store and talk to Wisconsin workers whose cost of living is up over 18%,” Rep. Bryan Steil said in a statement.

“Biden returns to Wisconsin doing what Democrats do best – taking credit for the work of private industry, all while ignoring his real record: the rise in inflation by 18 percent or the fact that Wisconsin families are spending $880 more a month as a result of his far-left policies,” Rep. Derrick Van Orden said in a statement.

“Joe gets to brag about… rising inflation, bad unemployment numbers, high interest rates,” Brian Schimming, Chair of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said on social media.

Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Milwaukee next week. Harris will be making her fourth visit to Wisconsin this year to promote her Economic Opportunity Tour.

Harris was in La Crosse last month to announce an administrative rule affecting staffing at nursing homes.

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