Online Posts Question Crowd Size at Biden’s Scranton Rally, On-the-Ground Reports Paint Different Picture

President Joe Biden faced social media criticism on Tuesday when viral posts claimed his campaign event in Scranton, Pennsylvania, had empty seats, but subsequent reports and photos disputed those claims.

Conservatives Brigitte Gabriel and Benny Johnson, with millions of followers, posted about the perceived empty seats at Biden’s hometown event. Johnson tweeted, “Here is the ‘crowd’ that showed up in Joe Biden’s hometown of Scranton Pennsylvania today. Note how the Biden campaign had to put up curtains to make the room smaller. There are more reporters in the room than ‘Biden supporters.’ Joe Biden is not real.”

However, posts from inside Biden’s event at the Scranton Cultural Center contradicted the claims. NewsNation reporter Kellie Meyer responded to a post about empty seats, saying, “Your picture was taken hours ago. It is full and people in the balcony, per our reporter inside.” Mike Memoli of NBC News shared a photo showing the allegedly empty seats occupied while Biden was speaking.

Biden’s visit to Scranton marked the start of a multicity tour of Pennsylvania, a critical swing state for the 2024 presidency. Addressing supporters under a banner reading “Tax Fairness for All Americans,” Biden contrasted his tax plan with former President Donald Trump’s policies.

“No billionaire should pay a lower tax rate than a teacher,” Biden told the crowd of 200 to 300 supporters.

He emphasized his perspective on the economy, saying, “When I look at the economy, I don’t look at it through the eyes of Mar-a-Lago. I look at it through the eyes of Scranton,” referencing Trump’s Florida estate. Biden highlighted competing visions for the economy, emphasizing fundamental fairness.

During his speech, Biden also commented on Trump’s media venture’s stock performance, “If Trump’s stock in Truth Social drops any lower, he might do better under my tax plan than his.”

Biden, who spent part of his childhood in Scranton, won Pennsylvania in 2020 and faces another competitive race in 2024. He joked around, “I think I should go home now. Except I am already home.”

The president continues his campaign tour with stops in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Trump is engaged in a courtroom battle in New York City over an alleged hush money scheme.