Ro Khanna: Biden ‘should and will get out’ to campuses where protests are happening

As the fallout from pro-Palestinian protests at colleges and universities bleeds into the 2024 presidential election, one of President Joe Biden’s key campaign surrogates urged him to visit the campuses.

“I think the president should and will get out there on campuses,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said Sunday during an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Khanna is crisscrossing the country stumping for Biden, most recently hitting a handful of college campuses in Wisconsin to take the temperature of young voters there — some of whom have soured on the president due to his policy positions on the war in Gaza.

Biden last week condemned the protests, saying that while there is a right to protests, there isn’t a right “to cause chaos.” And “No,” he said, the protests won’t make him reconsider any of policies on the fighting in the Middle East.

The campus encampments are only the latest local movement to pressure leaders to change course on Israel. Biden has been dogged by protesters at campaign events across the country. And Khanna argued Sunday that Biden’s mind already has been changed somewhat by the protests.

“I think the protests and the larger movement have had the president change,” he said, adding later: “Look, everyone from the president on down is aware that young people are upset at what’s going on in the Middle East. And I do think it’s had an awakening in Washington, that this war has to end, that too many people are dying. And if you look at the president’s language, it’s certainly shifted over the last six months.”

Khanna also condemned those involved in the push for an end to Israel’s campaign in Gaza whose rhetoric has turned violent.

“I mean, you can’t be shouting ‘guillotine, guillotine.’ You can’t be shouting ‘globalize the Intifada’ or ‘Zionists don’t deserve to live.’ What’s being lost is that those few protesters who are inciting violence or engaging in that kind of antisemitism are diminishing the thousands of young people who simply want the war to end,” he said.

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