President Donald Trump will take his attacks on Joe Biden to his Democratic rival’s backyard on the day Biden formally accepts his party’s nomination to be president.
He began his counter-programming punch Thursday morning in a fury of tweets, knocking out retweet after retweet of criticism against Biden, his running mate Kamala Harris and former President Barack Obama, who presented a blistering indictment against Trump’s presidency in his convention speech Wednesday night.
‘President Obama is making it a habit of campaigning in Philly for losing Presidential candidates,’ read one of the retweets. Obama and Hillary Clinton held the last rally of her 2016 presidential campaign in Philadelphia, just before she lost the election to Trump.
And he repeated his false claim that Biden wants to defund the police, with a retweet from his campaign war room featuring a clip from Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and the words: ‘Democrats want a world without police, without prisons, and without virtually any sort of law enforcement. These are today’s Democrats. This is Joe Biden’s America.’
Trump also retweeted himself from the night before questioning attack lines Harris used against Biden during the Democratic presidential primary. And he touted his campaign’s counter punches to Biden’s big night, including an online show Thursday evening featuring Kimberly Guilfoyle interviewing her boyfriend and Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. about the 2020 campaign.
But the president will try to hit Biden where it will hurt the most – his own backyard – ahead of Biden’s coronation as Democratic presidential nominee, an event that will surely dominate most of headlines and news cycle.
Trump will be in Old Forge, 20 minutes down the road from Biden’s child hood home town of Scranton, to attack his Democratic rival.
‘Joe Biden is hiding and taking voters for granted but the Trump campaign won’t make the same mistake,’ Samantha Zager, deputy national press secretary for Trump’s campaign, told DailyMail.com in a statement. ‘Biden’s socialist agenda would kill jobs and hurt families in the Keystone State, which is exactly why he won’t confront voters in his hometown. President Trump has a record of success to point to in Pennsylvania, and voters in the state will reelect him this November as a result.’
He’ll also give an interview to Fox News’ Sean Hannity an hour before Biden addresses the Democratic National Convention, to formally accept the presidential nomination.
Traditionally, the nominee of the other party stays quiet during their rival’s convention week.
Trump threw that rule out the window this week with his trips to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Arizona to criticize Biden.
Trump will speak Thursday afternoon at Mariotti Building Products, a kitchen remodeler in Old Forge, which is a former coal mining and textile factor town famous for its distinct style of pizza. The Old Forge pizza – which comes in red or white – has a crust that’s lighter than a typical thick crust, and crispy on the bottom with a chewy center.
While Trump will be attacking his rival, he’ll also need to shore up his credentials among the state’s voters.
Biden leads Trump in Pennsylvania by 6.4 points according to the RealClearPolitics polling average in that state.
Pennsylvania helped put Trump in the White House in 2016 when he became the first Republican to carry it in more than 20 years.
But he won it by less than 1 per cent and Biden will campaign hard there to return it to the Democrats’ corner.
Biden established his campaign headquarters in Philadelphia – just 30 minutes away from his home in Wilmington, Del. – and former President Barack Obama gave his address to the Democratic National Convention there Wednesday night.
Biden will accept the party’s nomination on Thursday evening, in a speech from Wilmington – capping his 40 plus years in politics with his campaign for the nation’s top job.
His speech is expected to reflect the theme of steadiness and leadership he has pushed throughout his campaign.
It will be the climax of the virtual convention, coming after speakers ahead of him established his credentials to be president as they attack Trump’s ability to do the job.
Obama made the case against Trump for his former running mate in a prosecutorial manner Wednesday night, laying out a sober, case-by-case point of why Trump shouldn’t be president.
‘This administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win,’ he charged in his nearly 20 minute speech, a condemnation of a president by a previous one without historical precedent.
Trump fired back at Obama in an all-caps outburst on Twitter, claiming that ‘HE SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN!’ and deriding Democratic nominee Joe Biden as ‘SLOW JOE’.
Obama told Americans Wednesday night that the only way to restore the country was to elect Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris in November.
‘We have to get busy building it up – by pouring all our effort into these 76 days, and by voting like never before – for Joe and Kamala, and candidates up and down the ticket, so that we leave no doubt about what this country we love stands for – today and for all our days to come,’ said Obama, his hair gray and demeanor serious.
He put aside post-presidential precedent to deliver an indictment of the man who succeeded him in the Oval Office, calling him lazy, dangerous, and corrupt, accusing him of abusing the military as props, of gassing peaceful protesters and of being willing to do anything for a second term.
And he tried to address Trump voters directly saying he understood why they felt government didn’t work – but decried conspiracy theories, incompetence and the deaths of 170,000, saying: ‘He hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t’ and turning the presidency into ‘a reality show for the attention he craves.’