Originally Published: 15 JUN 23 12:00 ET
By Jeremy Diamond, CNN
(CNN) — Top Biden campaign officials are popping the hood on President Joe Biden’s emerging reelection machine and giving top supporters a peek inside as their first quarterly fundraising deadline rapidly approaches.
Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez, her deputy Quentin Fulks and Democratic National Committee executive director Sam Cornale are embarking Thursday on a cross-country tour to meet with top donors, local Democratic officials and other supporters in an effort to stir up enthusiasm and build fundraising momentum.
“One thing that we want them to understand is that right now is a critical investment time, right?” Chavez Rodriguez said of the message she will deliver to supporters. “It’s an opportunity for them to invest in building the campaign and the architecture of the infrastructure and in the kinds of programs that we want to be able to run in 2024 as we’re in full campaign mode and reaching out to voters across the country.”
The six-state trip, which begins Thursday in Atlanta, comes as the president, the first lady, vice president and second gentleman are embarking on a separate fundraising blitz, hitting nearly two dozen fundraisers before the end of the month.
The campaign is racing against the clock to deliver a strong first quarter of fundraising amid nagging questions about whether Democrats are sufficiently energized about the prospect of reelecting Biden, who would be 86 at the end of a potential second term.
Despite those questions, the campaign and DNC have decided not to fundraise off of former President Donald Trump’s indictment and arrest, a deliberate decision designed to leave no question about the non-political nature of that prosecution.
“It’s so important that we restore the integrity of the Department of Justice and ensure that they are an independent entity and agency and that they continue to do their job in these most critical moments. And so for us that separation, that independence is core and it’s not something that we will second guess or deliberate,” Chavez Rodriguez told CNN.
Chavez Rodriguez and several senior Democratic officials will travel to six cities over the next week – Atlanta, Minneapolis, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and St. Louis – as part of what the Biden campaign is dubbing the “Steady, Strong Leadership Tour.” Officials plan to travel to additional cities later in June and July, according to a campaign official.
In each city, they will meet with a relatively small groups of supporters – “in the dozens,” according to a campaign official – to lay out how the campaign is building out its infrastructure and plotting a path to reelection in 2024.
Chavez Rodriguez said she and her team will lay out their priority states, key voter coalitions and the close partnership between the Biden campaign and DNC during meetings that will include both “grasstops” and “grassroots” leaders.
“This is really an opportunity for us to continue to build on that energy and that momentum and continue to really unify the party and show that we have a real strong operation, a real strong campaign and that we’re going to continue to build the effort that we need to build to effectively win in 2024,” Chavez Rodriguez said.
Biden will also criss-cross the country in the final stretch to the quarterly deadline, fundraising in Connecticut on Friday before making multiple stops in California next week and Chicago and Maryland the following week, among others.
First lady Dr. Jill Biden held multiple fundraisers in New York and California this week and Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff will also round out the fundraising blitz.
Chavez Rodriguez declined to outline the campaign’s fundraising target for this quarter, but said she believes the campaign will show “strong momentum and energy.”
“You know, folks are gonna want to try to poke holes at anything that they can, but I think that, you know, we’ll continue to show just strong momentum and energy,” Chavez Rodriguez said.
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