FIRST ON FOX: Ohio U.S. Senate candidate Bernie Moreno took aim at President Biden on Friday for his planned visit to East Palestine, Ohio, insisting his trip to the region is “far overdue” after a hazardous train derailment last year sent the community’s residents into peril.

“Joe Biden’s visit to East Palestine is far overdue. While this administration and Democrats in the Senate have been focused on giving endless aid to Ukraine while neglecting our own nation, citizens of East Palestine have paid the price,” Moreno told Fox News Digital.

“I hope that Biden’s visit will inspire him to confront challenges that Americans are dealing with every day rather than continuing to fund endless wars abroad,” he added.

Biden’s visit, which was announced last month by the White House, comes more than a year after the train derailment shook the rural Ohio village, which is located in Columbiana County on the state’s border with Pennsylvania.


Bernie Moreno, Joe Biden

“I hope that Biden’s visit will inspire him to confront challenges that Americans are dealing with every day rather than continuing to fund endless wars abroad,” Ohio U.S. Senate candidate Bernie Moreno told Fox News Digital. (Bernie Moreno/Getty Images)

Last month, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked whether Biden still had plans to visit East Palestine. She told reporters, “The president will visit when it’s most helpful to the community.”

East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway told Fox last month that he believed the “best time” for Biden to travel to the village “would be February of 2025, when he is on his book tour.”

Conaway additionally told Fox, “The president is always welcome to our town,” adding, “that being said, I don’t know what he would do here now.”

Biden had claimed in September that he simply had not had time with his busy schedule to visit the Ohio town.

Biden’s lack of a visit came in contrast to former President Trump, who met with residents of East Palestine on Feb. 22, 2023, just weeks after the incident. Joining him was Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio.

Trump in East Palestine

Former President Trump looks at Little Beaver Creek and water pumps as he visits East Palestine, Ohio, following the Feb. 3 Norfolk Southern freight train derailment on Feb. 22, 2023, in East Palestine, Ohio. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“You are not forgotten. We stand with you. We pray for you. And we will stand with you and your fight to help ensure the accountability that you deserve,” Trump told the crowd at the time. “The community has shown the tough and resilient heart of America. And that’s what it is. This is really America right here. We’re standing in America.”

A successful Cleveland-based businessman and luxury auto dealership giant, Moreno launched his second straight bid for U.S. Senate in Ohio last April, touting himself as an outsider and a conservative.


In December, Moreno’s candidacy in the race was endorsed by Trump.

“It’s time for the entire Republican Party to UNITE around Bernie’s campaign for Senate, so that we can have a BIG victory in what will be the most important Election in American History,” Trump wrote on TRUTH Social at the time. “Bernie is the Father of wonderful Emily, the wife of outstanding young Ohio Congressman, Max Miller. Bernie is Strong on the Border, Crime, Cutting Taxes, Election Integrity, the Military / Vets, and will always protect our under siege 2nd Amendment.”

Furthering his remarks, Trump insisted that Moreno “will be an outstanding United States Senator, and has my Complete and Total Endorsement—He will never let you down.”

Moreno on campaign trail

Bernie Moreno is acknowledged at a rally with former President Trump at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on April 23, 2022, in Delaware, Ohio. (AP Photo/Joe Maiorana, File)

In a second post, Trump went on to say, “Bernie Moreno, a highly respected businessman from the GREAT State of Ohio, is exactly the type of MAGA fighter that we need in the United States Senate. Bernie will always stand up to the Fascist ‘nut jobs’ and the spineless RINOS in order to fight the corrupt Deep State that is destroying our Country.”

“Remember, we need a successful political outsider like Bernie to defeat Liberal career politician, Sherrod Brown, who has so poorly represented Ohio, and pretends that he’s all for the Policies of your Favorite President, Donald J. Trump, but then gets to the Senate and votes 100% for the horrendous Policies of Crooked Joe Biden, the worst President in the History of our Country,” Trump added.

Trump’s endorsement will likely give Moreno an advantage over other Republican primary candidates, including Frank LaRose, who serves as Ohio’s secretary of state, and state Sen. Matt Dolan.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio

The winner of the March 19 GOP primary election will challenge incumbent Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown — the only Democrat to win statewide in Ohio in the past decade. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)


The winner of the March 19 GOP primary election will challenge Brown, who’s the only Democrat to win statewide in Ohio in the past decade. Brown will be heavily targeted by Republicans in a state that was once a premiere general election battleground but has shifted red over the past six years.

Moreno, an immigrant who arrived in the U.S. legally from Colombia with his family as a 5-year-old boy, made border security a top issue during his 2022 Senate campaign and visited the U.S.-Mexico border. He suspended his campaign in February last year.

Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom, Danielle Wallace and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *