HARTFORD \u2014 President Joe Biden, in a two-part visit to the friendly territory of Connecticut Friday, issued two sweeping warnings. At a Hartford child care center, speaking of his $3.5 trillion \u201cBuild Back Better\u201d proposal of social and environmental spending, he said \u201cthe world is watching\u201d as the plan teeters in Congress. And as he helped re-dedicate UConn\u2019s Dodd Center for Human Rights in Storrs, the president railed against authoritarian abuses and the rise of anti-democratic thinking \u2014 at home as well as abroad. It was a fast-moving triangle route of four hours, landing in Air Force One at the Air National Guard base at Bradley International Airport, then helicopter rides to Hartford, then Storrs, then back to Bradley. Along the way he hit the playground with pre-schoolers and paid homage to his old Senate pal, a now-white-bearded Chris Dodd, and the fellow Democrat who was among the first to support his candidacy, Gov. Ned Lamont. Biden\u2019s half-hour visit amid tight security at the Capitol Child Development Center in Hartford was designed to highlight the centerpiece of the massive plan: child care. With a handful of protesters shouting epithets a block away, Biden said the United States is far behind other developed nations and the country is at-risk of losing its competitive edge unless more investments are made in preschool programs and other touchstones of his proposal, including expanded broadband internet. In a soft-spoken voice and reading a script from a screen, Biden first paid his respects to the state\u2019s solidly Democratic congressional delegation, and to Gov. Ned Lamont, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and Barbara Jo Warner, executive director of the development center, which was created by the General Assembly in 1988 for the children of legislative employees and is partially subsidized by the state. He then admitted that while the $3.5-trillion program might not be fully implemented in Congress, a good part of it is likely to win adoption \u2014 and the nation\u2019s wealthiest are going to have to contribute more. \u201cName me a single time in American history when the middle class was doing well and the wealthy weren\u2019t doing very, very well,\u201d Biden said. \u201cPay your fair share,\u201d Biden whispered to the 60 or so people, including TV crews, jammed into a small classroom. \u201cBy the way, I\u2019ve had a number of Fortune 500 companies come to me and say \u2018you\u2019re right, we can pay a higher taxes,\u2019 because they understand the impact. Working folks understand it. That\u2019s why despite the attacks and misinformation, my plan still has the overwhelming support of the American people.\u201d The 7 percent solution The $3.5 trillion bill, sometimes called the human infrastructure plan, has little support from Republicans and must be trimemd because a few Democrat say it\u2019s too big, and their votes are needed. That debate is holding up passage of a bipartian, $1.1 trillion plan for traditional infrastructure, which would send $5.3 billion to Connecticut. Biden said the moment is crucial. \u201cThe world is watching,\u201d he said. \u201cAutocrats believe that the world is moving so rapidly that democracies cannot generate consensus quickly enough to get things done.\u201d That plan would extend the $300-a-month child tax credit that\u2019s set to expire in December; create universal pre-K; subsidize child care for low-income families; and add federal paid family and medical leave, which Connecticut adopted two years ago. Among many pieces of the president\u2019s plan, Biden highlighted that families making up to 150 percent of the statewide median income would pay a maximum of 7 percent of their earnings on child care \u2014 a savings for the vast majority of those with preschool children. Specific details were not available Friday. Republicans claim the ambitious proposal, combined with Biden\u2019s effort to address climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions, is too expensive and will run up the nation\u2019s deficit, causing inflation. That debate cuts two ways; In January, the news site Pro Publica quoted the Federal Reserve Bank of New York\u2019s estimate that the nation\u2019s deficit increased by $7.8 trillion under President Donald Trump. Playing with kids After entering the center through a back door, the president spent ten minutes introducing himself to about two dozen pre-school children in an outdoor playground, within earshot of the handful of loud protesters a block away. At the same time, on the other side of the playground, Lamont said child care funding is crucial. \u201cIt\u2019s the most-important investment we can make,\u201d Lamont told a couple of reporters. \u201cIt\u2019s a key for kids, giving them a head start in life and also allows mom and dad to get back to work, so if I had to prioritize, that\u2019s what I would do. That and pre-K. I think it\u2019s really that important.\u201d Lamont gestured to the president. \u201cThat why he came here,\u201d Lamont said. He voiced optimism that legislation will emerge eventually from Washington. \u201cThey\u2019ll get something done.\u201d Beth Bye, commissioner of the state Office of Early Childhood, who attended the event, told reporters after Biden\u2019s remarks that the state needs space for 50,000 more pre-schoolers. \u201cThe economics of this just do not work,\u201d Bye said. \u201cParents can\u2019t afford to pay the full cost, and it doesn\u2019t pay a living wage, so right now child care are subsidizing parents and businesses by taking a lower wage.\u201d Warner, director of the center, who introduced the president, said the American Rescue Plan Act was crucial in providing some funding to keep the center in operation. \u201cThe one time of infusion of funds didn\u2019t solve the underlying problem,\u201d she told Biden. \u201cMost parents cannot afford to pay the high cost of the kind of care their children deserve.\u201d Worries abroad Later in Storrs, Biden used the backdrop of the University of Connecticut\u2019s archive of post-war papers documenting Nazi war crimes to deliver a forceful warning against resurgent nationalism and anti-democratic forces around the world. Biden heaped praise on his former Senate colleague Chris Dodd and his father, Thomas J. Dodd, who was also a U.S. senator and prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials. The elder Dod died in 1971. The center was re-dedicated Friday in the name of both father-and-son senators, whose efforts against authoritarian governments in Europe and Latin America Biden made note of in a roughly 40-minute address. Massacres of Rohingya people in Myanmar, the mass-detention of Uighurs in China and sectarian conflict in northern Ethiopia are all evidence that \u201cthe spectre of atrocity is not far behind us,\u201d Biden said, adding \u201csilence is complicity.\u201d The president saved his loudest remarks \u2014 his voice rising well above the din of campus protesters \u2014 to warn that the U.S. and its major allies face threats similar to those seen in the build up to WWII. \u201cAs we look around the world today we see human rights and democratic principles increasingly under assault,\u201d Biden said. \u201cWe feel the same charge of history upon our own shoulders to act. We have fewer democracies in the world today than we did 15 years ago. Fewer, not more, fewer.\u201d Biden did not directly name his predecessor, President Donald Trump. However, he did mention his efforts to undo some of Trump\u2019s policies, such as reversing a ban on immigration from several predominately Muslim nations. Biden arrived in Storrs just before 3 p.m. after travelling from Hartford. In the lead-up to his speech, members of the state\u2019s all-Democratic congressional delegation lauded the foreign policy sought by Biden and both Dodds \u2014 three \u201cgiants of the United States Senate\u201d in the words of Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-1st District. Chris Dodd spoke ahead of his \u201cdear, dear friend, the president,\u201d adding humor to the afternoon with a story from when both Senators were running \u201cbroke\u201dcampaigns for the Democratic nomination to the presidency in 2008 and had to share a trip on a small prop plane from Washington to a debate in New Hampshire. It was a story Biden appeared to remember well. \u201cLuckily, Chris and I get to travel on much nicer planes these days,\u201d the president quipped after taking the stage. The state\u2019s longest-serving senator spoke in similarly dire terms about the state of world affairs, which he too compared to the forces his father prosecuted at Nuremberg. \u201cToday hate crimes and hate speech as we all know are on the rise, supremacist groups are proliferating at home and around the globe as well,\u201d Dodd said. \u201cThe number of autocratic regimes seems to grow on a regular basis.\u201d Opposing voices Ahead of the president\u2019s arrival, a group of about a dozen people gathered Friday morning near Brainard Airport in Hartford where Biden\u2019s Marine One helicopter landed. Members of the group, who would not give their names but said they were all members of a Facebook group, said they planned to follow the president throughout the day and exercise their First Amendment Rights. One member of the group said Biden was a \u201cdisgrace.\u201d During the trip from Brainard to the child care center, the press pool\u2019s bus lost track of the front of the motorcade while driving, but reunited with an escort midway through the trip. The pool report said there was a \u201cnear accident\u201d while merging back onto the highway. It was the second visit of Biden\u2019s presidency to blue-state Connecticut, with an all-Democratic congressional delegation and continued success in holding down COVID infection rates. About an hour before Biden\u2019s arrival at the child center, State Republican Chairman Ben Proto, in a press call sponsored by the Republican National Committee, used the GOP tactic of calling the proposal \u201cBuild Back Broke,\u201d called the $3.5-trillion plan a \u201cspending spree,\u201dand predicted that the higher taxes would hit families in Connecticut making as little as $50,000 a year. \u201cAll in all it\u2019s too expensive for the state of Connecticut,\u201d Proto said. firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @KenDixonCT email@example.com @JohnMoritz18 Staff writer Liz Hardaway contributed reporting to this story.