New Mexico residents react to Biden’s visit to Belen

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BELEN, N.M. – President Joe Biden drew a crowd as people lined the streets and traveled from different areas to get a glimpse of his motorcade coming into Belen.  

A lot of people can’t remember when or if a sitting president has visited the small town. There was definitely a large law enforcement presence Wednesday. 

KOB 4 spoke to people both excited to welcome him and others who said he isn’t welcome here. 

“It’s really nice seeing the president come down here because it is for climate change awareness basically, and that is something that we need to focus on. Especially for this day and age with climate change, global warming. I am very happy that we are getting some visualization,” said Theo, an Albuquerque resident. 

Biden spoke at a wind tower manufacturing facility that is expanding operations in Belen. It’s expected to create 250 jobs. 

Other people we spoke to say they don’t believe anything President Biden says, and say nothing good will come of this visit. 

“I don’t think it will give many people jobs and I think he is a failure. I don’t think anything he has done for us has been successful, and he is a disappointment,” said Beverly Castillo, a Belen resident. 

KOB 4 also spoke with Sen. Greg Baca who represents Belen. He says he was happy the president paid a visit to New Mexico and hopes it’s more than just a politically motivated stunt.

“We are happy to have the industry in Belen. I hope that this will be more than a photo op, and actually a beginning of an economic plan that makes sense for people of New Mexico, who right now are suffering both at the gas pump and at the grocery store,” said Baca.  

Baca also points to the fact the wind manufacturing plant is replacing another business that failed in the same building.

“What I will caveat that with though is that this industry is taking over what used to be a plastic manufacturer in the same building. I think that they were there only for a limited time, we would much rather see industry joining the existing industry than to see it replacing industry that has failed under the economic plan of this president,” Baca said. 

According to the mayor of Belen, this is a historical moment for the city. He says he is excited about where the community is headed in the future. 

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