President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden flew back to the White House Sunday morning, after spending an eventful weekend in Rehoboth Beach that began Thursday night.
It marked a rare weekend in the beach town for the Bidens who have a vacation home in North Shores in coastal Sussex County. The First Couple rarely visits their home near Rehoboth and spends many weekends at their main residence near Greenville or at the presidential retreat at Camp David in the Maryland mountains.
On Friday, Biden held a press conference at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center that took note of a strong jobs report for May. He also had a one-liner for billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has become increasingly critical of the president’s handling of the economy.
The following day, Delaware’s Republican Party held its state convention at the same location. Former President Donald Trump won Sussex County in 2020, with Biden carrying the state’s other two counties.
“Lots of luck on his trip to the moon,” Biden said in responding to a reporter’s question on Musk saying he had a bad feeling about the economy. An internal memo also indicated a 10% cut of the automaker’s staff could occur.
Biden pointed to job gains at Ford from electric vehicles and then took the dig at the owner of the Space X rocket company.
Biden has favored unionized automakers, like Ford and GM over Tesla in promoting electric vehicles. Musk has been a critic of the United Auto Workers union and dared via Twitter the UAW to organize other Tesla facilities while pointing to a kickback scandal from a decade ago that sent former UAW presidents to prison.
Tesla does operate a former GM plant in northern California represented by a UAW local. It’s the last auto assembly plant outside a corridor that stretches from Michigan to Mississippi. Delaware lost both of its auto plants in 2009. Most newer auto plants are nonunion.
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The administration is struggling with inflation and an accompanying surge in gas prices.
Before flying to Delaware on Thursday, Biden called for a ban on assault weapons following mass shootings including one that claimed 19 children and two teachers. The Bidens had flown out of Delaware to Texas a week ago to meet with grieving family members.
The Bidens have avoided the peak summer beach season in July and August due to the size of the beach town and the lack of hotel rooms that would be taken by staff and the media.
Flight restrictions were in place in the Rehoboth area into Sunday.
The Bidens were briefly evacuated from their North Shores home after a private plane accidentally entered restricted air space. Planes entering the no-fly space have done so a couple of times around northern Delaware but never were close enough to warrant an evacuation.
The restrictions are publicly listed on a Federal Aviation Administration site.