Biden campaign hires Kinzinger staffer to lead GOP outreach effort

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Biden campaign hires Kinzinger staffer to lead GOP outreach effort

President Biden’s reelection campaign has hired a national Republican engagement director to lure independents and moderate Republicans away from former President Trump in the hopes of attracting a crucial swath of voters in November.

The Biden campaign named Austin Weatherford, former chief of staff to ex-Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), a staunch Trump critic, to the role. A Virginia native, Weatherford’s role will be to reach and invest in voters who the Biden campaign argues are being pushed away by Trump.

Both Trump and Biden have to work to attract independent voters, who will likely decide the winner of the 2024 contest, particularly those in battleground states where polls often show the candidates running neck and neck.

When former GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley announced last month she would vote for Trump over Biden, it was a blow to the incumbent’s campaign, which has been working to court the former United Nations ambassador’s supporters since she exited the race in March.

Haley has drawn substantial protest votes in GOP primaries against Trump even after she dropped out of the race. Earlier this week, close to 15 percent of GOP primary voters cast a ballot for either Haley, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) or “uncommitted” in the New Mexico GOP primary.

Biden has argued that moderates, independents and those disillusioned by their choice in November belong in his camp, an attempt to grow the Democrats’ coalition ahead of Election Day.

The Biden campaign launched an ad in April aiming to target Haley voters and underscore Trump’s insults toward her and her supporters.