President Donald Trump turned his trip into Ohio into an impromptu campaign rally, using his remarks to repeatedly criticize Democratic rival Joe Biden while expressing confidence he would win the state in November.
The president went after Biden’s ‘five decades in office,’ arguing Biden has done nothing.
‘He’s been in public office for 47 years. He’s done nothing. Now he’s gonna fix everything? Doesn’t work that way,’ Trump said during remarks at the Cleveland airport, adding: ‘And I wouldn’t say he’s at the top of his game.’
The crowd of about 50 supporters cheered him on campaign-style. Trump’s campaign music set list played before his remarks with ‘Proud to Be An American’ playing as the president disembarked from Air Force One and shunned a ride in the presidential limo to walk the short distance where his supporters waited.
Trump hit Biden again when he spoke at a Whirlpool factory later that afternoon.
‘He won’t even know what he’s saying,’ the president said.
President Trump has questioned Biden’s cognitive ability of late and challenged his rival to take a cognitive test. The president claimed he ‘aced’ his own exam. Biden has said he will not take one and let voters judge for themselves during this fall’s presidential debates.
Trump, in his 12 minute remarks, struck at Biden at one of the former vice president’s strengths – middle class workers, the same blue collar voters that put Trump into office four years ago.
The president noted he was in route to visit a Whirlpool factory, arguing that polices under Biden and former President Barack Obama hurt workers there.
Trump wore a face mask during his tour of the factory, which makes washing machine a day.
‘Joe Biden’s policies put China first and America last, and that’s what he’ll continue to do if he ever got this shot,’ Trump said, attacking his rival.
He predicted a Biden presidency would bring ‘a disruption in the markets, the likes of which our country has never seen.’
Trump painted a picture of economic disaster under a Biden presidency, drawing on the one area voters give him high remarks – the economy – to hit his Democratic rival.
‘You will have a crash in the market, because he’s going to double and triple your taxes. He’s going to do things that nobody ever would ever think even possible because he’s following the radical left agenda – take away your guns, destroy your second amendment, no religion, no anything, hurt the Bible, God, he’s against God, he’s against guns, he’s against energy, our kind of energy,’ the president said.
Trump expressed confidence he would win Ohio as he did four years ago despite polls showing Biden has a small edge in the state.
‘We’re going to win bigger in Ohio now than years ago,’ he said.
Trump toured a Whirlpool factory in Clyde, Ohio, the congressional district of Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, a close ally of the president on Capitol Hill who was at the factory with him.
He launched another round of attacks on Biden and the Obama administration.
‘The Obama administration of did nothing to protect American workers from the flagrant dumping of foreign washers, dryers,’ he said while touting all he has done to help protect American jobs.
He vowed to bring back ‘American jobs and factories using every tool at my disposal — including tariffs, countervailing duties, and new trade deals based on the principle of fairness and reciprocity.’
He bragged about his administration’s work.
‘My administration is turning America into the ventilator king of the world,’ he said.
He got in several hits at the Obama years.
‘The Obama administration was laughed at. They were a joke and they were perfectly happy to let China win, you jobs disappear and your factory close,’ he said.
He compared his time in the White House to his predecessor’s.
‘Instead of an administration that sold out of American workers and sold your company out and couldn’t have cared less for you, you finally had a president who stood up for the American worker,’ he said.
He blasted those who let American jobs move to Vietnam and Thailand – pronouncing it ‘Thigh-land’ before correcting himself.
He reference the crowds of supporters who waved as he drove from the landing zone to the factory.
‘I came through today and everybody was out there, tremendous grabs waving and cheering,’ he said.
Crowds lined the streets of Clyde to wave at the president’s motorcade as it went by. The majority of people supported the president – some waved Trump Pence 2020 signs – but there were a few Biden supporters along the route.
But he also noted he’s made a lot of rich people unhappy with his administration’s policies.
‘I have a lot of enemies out there. This may be the best time you see me for a while – very very rich families. They are not happy with what I’m doing,’ he said.
The president also sought – as he has in the past – to tie his rival to the left wing of the Democratic Party. He attacked Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who pushed a progressive Green New Deal in Congress and advised Biden on his environmental policy.
‘AOC, that’s a real beauty isn’t it,’ he said. Then he pointed to a small child in the audience and said the kid knows more about climate than the congresswoman.
Trump, after his remarks at the factory, signed an executive order to require the federal government to purchase certain prescription drugs from U.S. manufacturers rather than from overseas companies.
Meanwhile, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, who was expected to greet President Trump at the start of a trip to his state, has tested positive for the coronavirus, the governor’s office revealed.
DeWine took a test as part of a ‘standard protocol’ for those who come in contact with the president, according to DeWine’s office. He tested positive but has ‘no symptoms at the present time.
‘I want to just say that a very good friend of mine just tested positive,’ Trump said of DeWine in his remarks. ‘We want to wish him the best. He’ll be fine. I guess he’s going for a secondary test.’
DeWine, a former U.S. senator, gained some national promise early in the pandemic for taking steps to impose lockdowns on events in his state in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus at a time when such steps were being debated.
He was to have greeted the president at the airport in Cleveland at the start of a trip.
Instead, DeWine will return to Columbus along with Ohio first lady First Lady Fran DeWine.
The governor plans to self-quarantine at his home for 14 days. The Lieutenant governor, Jon Husted, also took a test for COVID-19 and tested negative.
The news broke shortly after Trump took off from Joint Base Andrews, amid a scrutiny of the president’s repeated claims about testing, which have blamed the high number of U.S. cases on the millions of tests that have been carried out.
‘We’ve done a great job and we haven’t been rewarded with the publicity,’ Trump told radio host Geraldo Rivera Thursday.
News of DeWine’s condition broke just minutes before the president tweeted out a video of his departure, with the upbeat missive: ‘Just Departed for the Great State of Ohio!’
The nature of DeWine’s results point to the difficulty of containing the disease, which many people carry without even knowing they have it. That is one reason skeptics are resisting Trump’s push to reopen schools, with concerns that children could spread the disease and bring it home as carriers.
Trump faced blowback after claiming inaccurately that children are ‘almost immune’ from the coronavirus.
Trump returned to Ohio, a critical electoral battleground, Thursday for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak as polls show Joe Biden leading him there.
A Your Voice Ohio Election Project poll out earlier this week showed Biden leading Trump by four points in the state. Biden leads the president by 2 points in the RealClearPolitics polling average of Ohio.
Trump won Ohio by 8 points in the 2016 election. The state has picked the winner in every presidential election since 1964.
The president’s trip is his latest day trip to a state crucial to his re-election bid after traditional campaigning was sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic, including Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Trump will be greeted upon his arrival by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, who’s received high marks for his handling of the coronavirus outbreak in his state. Polls show a majority of voters disapprove of Trump’s handling of the pandemic.
DeWine has issued a statewide order for people to wear face masks as coronavirus cases have been on the rise across the midwest.
He was quick to act when the pandemic started and was the first governor to order schools closed. He also postponed the state’s March 17 primary and held daily briefings on the pandemic – actions which sent his popularity soaring among Ohio voters.
President Trump called into Geraldo Rivera’s radio show Thursday morning. The show airs out of Ohio.
Trump said he didn’t think the election was a referendum on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
‘I think its a referendum on everything,’ he said.
He also rejected any idea Biden was leading in the polls.
‘I don’t think so,’ he said.
The president will end his visit with a fundraiser at the Shoreby Yacht Club in Bratenahl, Ohio, near Cleveland.
It costs will $35,000 to attend while a photo and roundtable discussion is $100,000, a local TV station reported.
RNC Chairman Ronna McDaniel and Trump Victory Finance Committee National Chair Kimberly Guilfoyle are among those scheduled to attend.
After the fundraiser, President Trump will head to New Jersey to spend the weekend at his Bedminister golf club.