“My name is Joe Biden and I am a car guy,” he exclaimed at the beginning of his presentation.
During his speech, Biden joked about wanting to take the electric vehicle for a spin with no safety detail, and also recalled his fondness for the Ford Fairlane, a model that was discontinued during the Nixon administration. Afterward, Biden drove around in one of the electric vehicles wrapped in a pattern used by automakers to thwart corporate snoops.
“That fool is fast,” Biden told reporters from behind the wheel who were stationed nearby.
The idea of an all-electric pickup truck is a gamble given the decades-long popularity of trucks with consumers and the extent to which they are embedded in American culture, especially in conservative enclaves.
But automakers have stepped up their investments in electric vehicles in recent years as technology improves and they begin to leave niche status in the public eye.
“The future of the auto industry is electric – there is no going back,” said Biden. “The real question is whether we will lead or fall behind in the race for the future.”
Biden’s roadshow has been somewhat overshadowed by the ongoing hostilities between Israel and Palestinians, a conflict that has spread for weeks before escalating in recent days.
At least 200 Palestinians were killed in the clash, including dozens of children and many other civilians. Hamas and other militants in Gaza have aimed thousands of rockets at Israel, although the death toll in Israel is significantly lower due to their advanced missile defense system.
The president has sought to de-escalate the situation while juggling domestic pressures from Republicans and Democrats to take sides as White House calls for a ceasefire have gone unheeded.
Several leading Democratic lawmakers prepared to call on the Biden government to suspend a $ 735 million arms sale to Israel amid the violence before the change of course on Tuesday. House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) Said the decision came after the White House offered on Wednesday to brief members of Congress on the issue.
The situation wasn’t far from the stage during Tuesday’s event.
Among those in attendance was MP Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), One of the first Muslim women ever to be elected to Congress, who urged the Biden government to take a stronger stance on Israel because of being in the midst of the Used violence in riots.
Tlaib has a family who live in the area and Biden said he kept them in his prayers.
“I admire your intellect and your passion and concern for so many other people,” said Biden. “You are a fighter and thank God that you are a fighter.”
Biden also spoke to Tlaib when he arrived in Michigan, although after the president’s speech she declined a reporter’s request about what the two were discussing.
It was also evident that Biden wanted to draw attention to the new car rather than clashes between Israel and Palestinians. He declined a reporter’s attempt to ask about the situation, “unless you get in front of the car while I step on it.”
“I’m just teasing,” said Biden.