President Biden speaks at Auburn Manufacturing in Auburn on Friday, July 28, 2023. Biden visited the manufacturing company to highlight investments he says have strengthened local economies and created good paying jobs. Auburn Manufacturing produces textiles that protect against extreme heat for a variety of industries. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

5:54 p.m. BRUNSWICK — Air Force One has taken off from the Brunswick Executive Airport to take President Biden to Delaware.

He is set to land in Dover and then head to Rehoboth Beach.

As the plane prepared for takeoff, a group of protesters on motorcycles drove down Orion Street chanting “(expletive) Joe Biden.”

— Emma Kilbride (Press Herald)

5:40 p.m. BRUNSWICK — President Biden’s motorcade has arrived back at Brunswick Executive Airport, and supporters are clinging to the fences in hopes of catching a glimpse of Biden as he boards Air Force One headed for Delaware.

The jet’s engines are running, and the aircraft appears nearly ready for takeoff.


“I just appreciate so much of what the president’s done, and it’s really cool to wave to him as he comes through,” said Cayla Saret of Phippsburg.

— Emma Kilbride (Press Herald)

5:17 p.m. FREEPORT — President Biden’s motorcade began leaving the fundraiser on Little River Lane at 5:15 p.m., heading away from the water on Wolfe’s Neck Road. The entire motorcade passed Birch Point Road at 5:17 p.m., likely heading back toward the Brunswick Executive Airport.

— Lana Cohen (Press Herald)

3:48 p.m. FREEPORT — Wolfes Neck Road residents and Mainers of 35 years John Gleason and Katrina Van Usen said they came out to see Biden because it’s fun and they’re fans of the president.

“I think he’s done a terrific job getting us through a dark period: I think he was the absolute right person to transition us out of that era,” Gleason said.


“I used to take my kids out here to the bus stop and I took a picture of the motorcade and sent it to my kids and said, ‘Things have changed since your school bus days,’ ” Gleason said.

— Lana Cohen (Press Herald)

3:35 p.m. FREEPORT — The president’s motorcade started to pass the intersection of Wolfe’s Neck Road and Birch Point Road at 3:33 p.m. The entire motorcade had passed by and turned down Little River Lane by 3:35 p.m.

Word that Biden would be visiting Freeport seems to have spread up and down Wolfes Neck Road, where he is expected at a fundraising event this afternoon. At least 25 people were standing at the end of driveways presumably waiting to see Biden at around 3:10 p.m.

One mailbox had a sign that read “welcome President Biden,” in what looked like children’s handwriting. At the end of a different driveway a kid held up a sign that read “Maine made lemonade.”

Wolfes Neck Road was closed off to traffic as of 3:30 p.m.


— Lana Cohen (Press Herald)

2:20 p.m. AUBURN – President Biden spoke for about 25 minutes to the crowd at Auburn Manufacturing, touching on inflation, wages and manufacturing jobs.

The president said inflation in the United States is now at its lowest point in two years and the economy is growing as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. “Wages are growing faster than inflation,” he said. “That means an awful lot to working people where I come from. It means you have a little more money in your pockets than before.”

While the last few decades have seen a downturn in American manufacturing, including in Maine, where the state has seen a loss in paper mill and manufacturing jobs, Biden struck a more positive note Friday, saying spending on the construction of manufacturing plants has nearly doubled in the last two years.

President Biden speaks at Auburn Manufacturing in Auburn on Friday. Biden visited the manufacturing company to highlight investments he says have strengthened local economies and created good paying jobs. Auburn Manufacturing produces textiles that protect against extreme heat for a variety of industries. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

And he pointed to steps to restore manufacturing and jobs in Maine, like the recent reopening of the former Madison Paper Mill to produce wood fiber insulation, and federal COVID-19 relief funds his administration awarded to the Sappi mill in Westbrook to invest in new technology.

“I’m not here to declare victory on the economy,” Biden said. “We have more work to do. But we have a plan for turning things around. Bidenomics is just another way of saying, ‘Restore the American dream.’ ”


The president signed an executive order prioritizing a policy of “invent it here, make it here,” while at Auburn Manufacturing Friday. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

The president signed an executive order prioritizing a policy of “invent it here, make it here,” while at the textile manufacturer. The White House said the order will boost incentives to manufacture new technologies in the United States when those inventions are developed using taxpayer dollars.

He shook hands with the crowd and departed Auburn Manufacturing before 2:30 p.m. He is expected to attend a campaign fundraiser later Friday afternoon in Freeport.

— Rachel Ohm (Press Herald)

1:43 p.m. AUBURN – Biden took the stage at Auburn Manufacturing, thanking the crowd, Gov. Janet Mills and members of the state’s congressional delegation for welcoming him.

He is expected to talk about bringing back manufacturing to America and growing the economy. The crowd cheered and people stood as the president entered the crowded warehouse.

— Rachel Ohm (Press Herald)


1:20 p.m. AUBURN – Rep. Jared Golden, Sen. Angus King and Gov. Janet Mills took to the stage at Auburn Manufacturing Friday afternoon ahead of the president’s arrival.

Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque also joined members of the congressional delegation and governor in welcoming a crowd of about 180 people in a warehouse of the textile manufacturing facility.

Gov. Janet Mills and Sen. Angus King laugh after President Biden hands a pen to the governor at Auburn Manufacturing in Auburn on Friday. At right is Kathie Leonard, President and CEO of Auburn Manufacturing and at left is Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

King and Golden delivered remarks prior to Biden’s arrival, with Golden saying that while he doesn’t always agree with the president, Bidenomics “lays the foundation for a new American economy I can proudly support.” He also thanked the president for coming to Auburn and Lewiston to highlight the two cities.

“I’m thrilled to welcome President Biden to Auburn Manufacturing,” Mills said in welcoming the president.

The governor talked about the decline of Maine’s mills and the loss of good mill jobs. She said that Maine needs to invest in its people in order to bring back jobs and grow the state’s economy. “It’s a belief I know the president shares,” Mills said.

She said Biden’s policies and innovative companies like AMI are helping to bring back good jobs in Maine. “I am so proud to welcome President Biden here today to learn more about the work we’ve done with his support to bring back jobs and build a stronger, more prosperous state,” Mills said.


— Rachel Ohm (Press Herald)

1:15 AUBURN — According to a White House pool reporter, a lone protester greeted President Biden at the Auburn-Lewiston airport with an oversized posterboard that read, “Let’s Go Brandon.”

As the motorcade left the airport, a group of dozens of Biden supporters waved, including one woman holding a sign that read, “I love Biden.” Another sign referenced “chocolate chip ice cream.”

Inside Auburn Manufacturing, there was a small blue stage laid out. A sign next to the lectern where Biden will speak says “Bidenomics” and “Made in America.”

President Biden exits Air Force One on Friday at the Brunswick Executive Airport. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

12:40 p.m. BRUNSWICK — Air Force One touched down at Brunswick Executive Airport at 12:14 p.m. under a mostly blue sky with some clouds rolling in.

The plane taxied for a few minutes and at 12:21 p.m. people began to depart the plane.


The travelers stepped onto the concrete tarmac as the sun beat down.

Some people began walking directly to the helicopters and boarded. Members of the security detail placed themselves around the plane.

Members of the national press stood near the wing of the plane.

President Biden departed the plane at 12:31 p.m. wearing a navy blue suit and sunglasses. He did not talk to the Maine press or the national press. U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree, Jared Golden and U.S. Sen. Angus King followed directly behind the president as he left the plane.

President Biden nears the tarmac at the Brunswick Executive Airport on Friday followed by Sen. Angus King and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Biden stopped briefly to say something that could not be overheard and entered the helicopter at 12:33. Doors of the helicopter closed at 12:33 p.m and the helicopters lifted off at 12:38 p.m.

Meanwhile, at the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport, a motorcade awaits to take the group to Auburn Manufacturing, the site of the event.


Auburn Manufacturing Inc. president and CEO Kathie Leonard said she only found out about President Biden’s plans to visit Auburn a week ago, while she was on vacation.

“You can always take another vacation,” she said ahead of the president’s arrival. “It’s a big day for us.”

Lana Cohen (Press Herald), Christopher Wheelock (Sun Journal)

11:50 a.m. AUBURN — Though the inside of Auburn Manufacturing is bustling with fanfare, the building’s periphery remains unexpectedly quiet.

Under the hot summer sun, the parking lot is nearly deserted with the exception of secret service personnel, checkpoint workers and the occasional straggling attendee.

People await the arrival of President Biden at Auburn Manufacturing in Auburn on Friday. Biden is visiting the manufacturing company to highlight investments he says have strengthened local economies and created good-paying jobs. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Lewiston resident Shukri Abdirahman, 24, said she expected the pomp and circumstance to find its way outside.


“I thought there would be a lot of people here, many many crowds,” Abdirahman said. “But it’s kind of quiet and organized and everyone has to go through checkpoints, which is interesting.”

The atmosphere inside tells a much different story. Upwards of 150 supporters are chatting anxiously amongst themselves, awaiting President Biden’s arrival as music blares through the speakers.

Emma Kilbride (Press Herald)

11:30 a.m. BRUNSWICK – The crowd at Brunswick Executive Airport grew larger as the morning wore on.

“It’s the president of the United States. It’s inspiring to see things like this go down,” said Brunswick resident Duane, 55, who declined to give his last name but said he is a Biden supporter.

Others said that although they are not staunch Biden supporters, or even Biden supporters at all, that they were excited to take the opportunity to see the president of the United States in person.


“I’m just here for fun,” said one attendee who declined to share his name and age. “I happened to be in the area and remembered he was coming and just thought I would stop by. I have no political agenda, I’m just a bystander,” he said.

Five U.S. government helicopters were stationed on the tarmac awaiting the arrival of Air Force One.

Lana Cohen (Press Herald)

11:25 a.m. – Maine U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree, Jared Golden and U.S. Sen. Angus King are all traveling with Biden on Air Force One to Brunswick.

Others traveling with the president include Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Reed, Deputy Chief of Staff Natalie Quillian, senior adviser and director of Oval Office operations Annie Tomasini and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, according to a report from the White House press pool.

Biden did not speak with reporters before he boarded Air Force One at 11 a.m. He is scheduled to land in Brunswick shortly after noon, although it appears he is behind schedule.


The president will land in Brunswick and then travel by helicopter to Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport. Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline, Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque and Gov. Janet Mills will greet the president on the ground.

Gillian Graham (Press Herald), Andrew Rice (Sun Journal)

11:20 a.m. AUBURN – Every president who has come to Auburn used a different mode of transportation.

When Theodore Roosevelt became the first sitting president to visit Auburn, arriving by train, residents and shopkeepers festooned the city with patriotic banners, flags and posters, lining the street to shout their good wishes to the nation’s leader, who was escorted by the mayors of Lewiston and Auburn. That was in 1902.

A decade later, the only other sitting president to come to Auburn, nobody did anything for him. That’s because the community had no idea he was coming.

William Howard Taft, staying at Poland Springs, gave up golf on a crummy fall day and decided to take a train to Portland. He drove to the Danville Junction station in Auburn, got on board a special train and off he went with no hoopla. When he returned that evening, he got in a car and drove back to Poland Springs, again barely noticed.


When Joe Biden arrives today on his way to give a speech at Auburn Manufacturing, he’ll be the first president in 111 years to visit Auburn. He’s coming by helicopter.

Steve Collins (Sun Journal)

11:15 a.m. AUBURN – Dozens of people, including union workers and local officials, were lined up outside Auburn Manufacturing in advance of President Biden’s arrival.

Cynthia Phinney, president of the Maine AFL-CIO, gathered with several workers.

Marian Robertson, fabricator, Barbara Keach, rope fabricator and Phillis Pickard, customer service supervisor, sit front row and center Friday as they await President Biden’s visit to Auburn. All three are employees of Auburn Manufacturing, and were thrilled to have the best seats in the house. “That’s what you get for being an employee!” Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

“It’s exciting to have a president in Maine, especially with what this president has done to build programs that support communities with good jobs and infrastructure,” she said. “It’s just really special to get to see the president and get to hear him talk firsthand.”

Auburn City Councilor Stephen Milks, Planning Board Chair Stacey LeBlanc and Planning Board member Evan Cyr were also in line.


“It’s a cool thing for the city,” Milks said. “You only get invited so many times to see a president. I’m looking forward to hearing what he has to say.”

Kathie Leonard, president and CEO of Auburn Manufacturing Inc., chats with employees Friday before a speech by President Joe Biden in a company warehouse. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Sofia Draeger, a 16-year-old Falmouth junior, said she is excited at the chance to meet a president.
She said her family is always “digging into the political world and current events” at the dinner table so this is a rare chance to see it in person.

Biden is expected to deliver remarks around 1:15 p.m. A good crowd had gathered inside a large warehouse at the manufacturing plant as of 11 a.m. Officials said the limit would be about 180.

Rachel Ohm (Press Herald), Steve Collins (Sun Journal)

11:05 a.m. BRUNSWICK – As of 10:40 a.m., approximately 50 people had lined up in a grassy area on the far side of a fence separating the parking lot and the tarmac at Brunswick Executive Airport in hopes of catching a glimpse of President Biden and Air Force One.

Groups of people clustered near trees, finding shade and reprieve from the cloudless sky and summer heat.


“I thought it might be a good opportunity to see Biden from a distance and to support him,” said Brunswick resident Janice Van Etten, 72.

“He shepherded us through COVID and put the economy back together. He wants to work in a bipartisan way,” she added when asked why she supports the president.

Lana Cohen (Press Herald)

11 a.m. AUBURN – President Biden’s visit to Auburn has a clear political agenda: Trying to persuade Mainers in the 2nd Congressional District to give him a chance.

In the 2020 race, when Biden defeated incumbent Republican Donald Trump, the Democrat easily won the state of Maine and its 1st Congressional District. But Trump got one electoral vote by capturing the sprawling, rural district that includes Auburn and nearby Lewiston.

Biden did win both cities and in Auburn, he beat Trump by a 52-44 margin.


People arrive at Auburn Manufacturing Inc. to await President Biden’s visit to Auburn on Friday. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Given that there are scenarios where the entire presidential election could turn on who wins the 2nd District, Biden would like to see its blue-collar base shift its sympathies. Voters in the district have, after all, elected Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Golden of Lewiston three straight times in congressional elections.

Though Golden’s voting record on Capitol Hill hasn’t always aligned with the president’s agenda, his success at the polls shows Democrats can win in the 2nd District.

Making a case for his economic policies in Auburn today is an indication Biden isn’t giving up on the region.

Steve Collins (Sun Journal)

10:45 a.m. FREEPORT – After visiting Auburn Manufacturing, Biden will travel to Freeport to attend a private fundraising event.

Officials have not released details about the event, but a post on a Facebook group for Freeport residents suggests it will be held at a home on Wolfe’s Neck Road. The post, which is attributed to Wolfe’s Neck Center, alerts residents that a section of Wolfe’s Neck Road will be closed for much of the day and guests will be shuttled to the event from a parking area at the center.


An invitation obtained by WMTW indicates that the fundraiser is for the Biden Victory Fund and that the host committee includes former U.S. Senate candidate Sara Gideon and Justin Alfond, former Maine State Senate president. Tickets for the event range from $3,300 to $25,000, the station reported.

Gillian Graham (Press Herald)

10:40 a.m. BRUNSWICK – At the Brunswick Executive Airport about two and a half hours before the expected arrival of Air Force One, there was minimal activity outside of media members and security officials moving around the parking areas near the airport.

Prior to the president’s arrival, members of the press will be shuttled from the parking area to the tarmac where Biden and his team will deplane and then board a helicopter.

The Brunswick airport, located on the former U.S. Navy base, has the longest runway in Maine and is often used during presidential visits because it doesn’t have the same commercial traffic as Portland.

Lana Cohen (Press Herald)


10:30 a.m. AUBURN – At Auburn Manufacturing on Friday morning, the scene was quiet ahead of President Biden’s visit. The business is located inside an industrial park and there were neither protesters nor supporters set up outside around 10 a.m.

A security checkpoint was set up at the business entrance, but arrivals were mostly members of the media.

President Biden is scheduled to arrive by plane at Brunswick Executive Airport around 1 p.m. and then travel from Brunswick to Auburn via helicopter, likely to avoid having a motorcade traverse through mostly back roads.

Gov. Janet Mills and Maine Senate President Troy Jackson are among those expected to be on hand to greet the president ahead of his remarks.

— Rachel Ohm (Press Herald)

President Biden will visit a manufacturing facility in Auburn Friday to highlight investments that have strengthened local economies and created good-paying jobs, his press secretary said Thursday.


Biden will fly into Brunswick Executive Airport before traveling to Auburn Manufacturing Inc. early Friday afternoon, according to details released by the White House Thursday afternoon.

“He’s going to be visiting a manufacturing facility to discuss how Bidenomics is revitalizing American manufacturing,” Karine Jean-Pierre said when asked about the trip Thursday. She cited $1.5 billion in federal investments in Maine infrastructure, including expansion of high-speed internet.

“Bidenomics,” a term the president was at first reluctant to embrace, has become a buzzword in recent weeks as his administration and Democratic supporters point to economic progress they attribute to investments in workers and infrastructure. It’s the antithesis to Reaganomics, also known as trickle-down economics, which is the theory that tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy are a way to stimulate economic activity that ultimately benefits middle- and low-income families.

While at Auburn Manufacturing, the president will sign an executive order to prioritize America’s policy of “invent it here, make it here.” The order boosts the incentive to manufacture new inventions in the United States when those inventions are developed using taxpayer dollars.

The executive order also improves transparency, cuts red tape and streamlines reporting requirements in the federal research and development process, encourages the expansion of domestic production for critical industries and makes the domestic manufacturing waiver process clearer, timelier and more consistent, according to the White House.

The executive order will help modernize the government reporting system to help researchers, companies and the public better understand the innovation landscape in the U.S. It directs agencies to streamline reporting requirements, encourages agencies to consider domestic manufacturing in their research and development award solicitations and instructs the Department of Commerce to improve the transparency of the process used to approve waivers for manufacturing an invention outside of the U.S.

Biden also will attend a campaign fundraising reception in Freeport later Friday afternoon before flying to Delaware. The location and details of the Freeport fundraiser were not released.

It will be the first time Biden has visited the state as president, and the visit comes as he is ramping up his campaign for reelection.

This story will be updated. Follow along all day for live updates from our journalists.

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