Election 2020 live updates: Trump campaigns in Pennsylvania, Biden off the trail
An energized President Trump declared Pennsylvania his must-win state at the first of three rallies there today, slamming Joe Biden for staying off the campaign trail today and urging the audience in Allentown to get out the vote.
“We win Pennsylvania, we win the whole thing,” Trump said to a crowd of closely-packed supporters, many without masks. “You have to get out there.”
He opened by railing against Biden for saying at last Thursday’s debate that he would transition from the oil industry over time and end fossil fuel subsidies, Trump telling Pennsylvanians their livelihoods are at risk as the state is the second largest producer of natural gas behind Texas.
“So will you remember that, Pennsylvania, please?” Trump said, after playing a video of spliced news clips highlighting his administration’s accomplishments and Biden’s past answers to questions on fracking and relations with China.
On the coronavirus pandemic, Trump claimed he “saved over two million lives,” likely referring to an early model which predicted deaths would only be that high if no attempts were made by the government, nor individuals, to alter their behavior to control the pandemic. The U.S. death toll, instead, is on track to surpass the 240,000 maximum prediction Trump’s task force gave in the spring for the year.
As cases are on the rise across the country — with records being set in recent days — hospitalizations and deaths are up in many areas, and experts have repeatedly warned the situation would get worse leading into the fall and winter. But Trump lamented against media coverage of the surging cases suggesting it’s a ploy to hurt his reelection chances.
“By the way, on November 4th you won’t be hearing so much about it. COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID,” he said, repeating a line he’s now highlighting.
Providing no evidence, Trump also claimed that his campaign was trying to find a venue for this event up to the last minute because Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, made it “impossible” for the president to host campaign events in the state, sending a direct warning to Wolf.
“I’ll remember it, Tom. I’m gonna remember it, Tom. ‘Hello, Mr. President, this is Governor Wolf, I need help, I need help.’ You know what? These people are bad,” Trump said, adding the false claim that Wolf will be counting ballots in the state. “We’re watching you.”
Trump continued his pitch to suburban women in Pennsylvania, a demographic he is struggling with in the polls, but insisted he’s “saving the suburbs.”
“They want two things. They want to leave their house alone. They don’t want a five-story project next to them — or could be higher,” Trump said. “They don’t want to have antifa and anarchists running through the streets, okay? So if they agree with what I just said, I have a feeling they are going to be voting for Trump.”
With a backing from white, moderate and suburban women in Pennsylvania, it is Biden who has an 8% advantage with the group in the state, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll.
-ABC News’ Ben Gittleson, Terrance Smith and Justin Gomez