President Donald Trump kicked off the first of four rallies in the battleground state of Pennsylvania on Saturday with an attack on his Democratic rival Joe Biden, accusing him of championing policies that took jobs from the state.
A smaller than normal crowd greeted the president in muddy field in Newton, Pennsylvania, which is about 30 miles outside of Pittsburgh. The Southwest part of the state is heavily invested in the energy industry, including mining and fracking.
‘Three days from now this is the state that will save the American dream,’ he announced to his supporters. ‘I am going to be here all day today.’
Trump wasted no time going after Biden, accusing him of betraying the people of Pennsylvania – the state where Biden was born.
He said Biden ‘wiped out Pennsylvania steel,’ was a ‘cheerleader’ for NAFTA, championed for China to join the World Trade Organization.
‘In Pennsylvania you lost 50% of your manufacturing jobs after those Biden disasters,’ the president told the crowd.
He said Biden backed the Paris Climate Accord, which he called an ‘economic nightmare for Pennsylvania miners. And every worker in our country. He backed TPP which would have extinguished the American auto industry.’
He claimed ‘these betrayals’ made ‘his family rich.’
‘He profited from the misery of unleashed work in horror given to Pennsylvania workers,’ Trump said of Biden. ‘He made a lot of money and his family made a lot of money, and nobody, and nobody knew about it until just recently.’
He also brought up Biden’s only surviving son, Hunter, accusing Hunter Biden of making millions off the family name.
‘Where’s Hunter,’ Trump said, bringing up his favorite campaign line.
President Donald Trump speaks to supporters in a muddy field in Newton, Pa., which is about 30 miles from Pittsburgh
President Trump is holding four rallies in the battleground state on Saturday
President Trump spoke before the historic Keith House-Washington’s Headquarters
Trump accused Joe Biden of championing policies that took jobs from Pennsylvania
The president talked about his packed campaign schedule, but misstated the number of rallies he’s doing Saturday. He has four rallies on Saturday and ten more over the next two days.
‘We’re doing three rallies, tomorrow we’re doing five and the smallest crowd will be 25,000,’ Trump predicted.
‘On Monday, we’re doing five or six. And I can tell you what’s going to happen. I think we’ll just go home and rest,’ he said.
The president stressed to the crowd one of his arguments that voters gave him high marks for in 2016 – that his wealth makes him independent and beholden to no one.
‘I don’t answer to the special interests,’ he said. ‘I don’t take instructions from donors and lobbyists. I don’t care about them. I don’t care about them.’
‘I do what’s right for America. It’s made me a lot of enemies in Washington,’ he added.
Trump also defended his work on the coronavirus pandemic as the number of infections reached over 9 million. Cases are on the rise in Pennsylvania and other parts of the Midwest.
‘We moved heaven and earth to produce the vaccine ahead of schedule and manufacture hundreds of millions of doses in advance already to be shipped. We have our military is going to be shipping, logistics, we have a general that’s what he knows he delivers troops, this is, this is easy,’ he said.
Trump had previously predicted a vaccine would be available by the election or before the end of the year but it’s unclear when one will be ready.
Voters have given the president low marks for his handling of COVID.
But Trump claims he kept the number of deaths from being higher.
‘It’s the most advanced medical operation, anywhere in the world in history. Thanks to the therapies we’ve accelerated, we have already reduced the mortality rate,’ he said.
He attacked Biden’s handling of the swine flu, which hit the country when Biden was vice president.
‘He had his chance with the H1N1 and the swine flu, which was a disaster,’ he said.
He accused Biden of only have ‘COVID, COVID’ to talk about.
‘I watched Joe Biden speak yesterday. All he does is talk about COVID COVID. He’s got nothing else to say – COVID COVID COVID. We all agree and serious and we’ve done an incredible job. And at some point, they’re going to recognize that,’ Trump said.
He said Biden’s plan to combat COVID would kill the economy. Trump is making a strong economy the central argument for a second term.
‘That’s his only plan – to make you a prisoner in your home, a prisoner in your own country. Under the Biden lockdown, the recovery will be totally kill economy will crash country can’t afford,’ he said.
‘There’ll be no school. There’ll be no graduation. There’ll be no weddings, no Thanksgiving stuff, no Christmas, no Easters, no Fourth of Julys. There’ll be nothing. We’ll be nothing,’ he said of life under a Biden presidency.
President Trump is trying to repeat his 2016 win in Pennsylvania
A young supporter of the president listens to his remarks
There was a smaller than usual crowd for President Trump at his first rally of the day in Pennsylvania
A supporter stands away from the crowd as he listens to President Donald Trump speak at a campaign rally in Newton
Biden leads Trump by 3.7 points in the RealClearPolitics polling average of the state.
Trump is holding four rallies in the key battleground state on Saturday in an attempt to repeat his 2016 victory when he became the first Republican presidential candidate in more than 20 years to win Pennsylvania.
But he carried the state – where Biden was born – by less than a point and Democrats want it back in their corner.
Both candidates are putting their focus on Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes in the final days before November 3.
First lady Melania Trump will hold a rally in Wapwallopen Saturday evening. Ivanka Trump and Tiffany Trump will hold separate events there on Sunday. And President Trump will campaign in Biden’s hometown of Scranton on Monday.
The Biden campaign is sending its full ticket there on Monday. Joe and Jill Biden along with Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff will barnstorm the state the day before the election.