By Jairo Mejia
Old Forge, Pennsylvania, Aug 20 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Thursday afternoon tried to steal some media attention from his Democratic rival in the November election, Joe Biden – who is scheduled later in the evening to accept his party’s presidential nomination – by holding a rally in the key state of Pennsylvania, where he said he wanted “the police to look strong” and “law and order,” adding that he is doing a “great job” in limiting the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic.
Trump told the audience of 300, almost all of them white, that he was going to win the upcoming election handily as he spoke outside a construction materials company on the outskirts of Scranton, a city in the state’s manufacturing area, and Joe Biden’s home town.
Pennsylvania is a key state in the November vote and failing to win it, after taking it by a narrow margin in 2016, could cost Trump the White House this time around.
The president said that recent voter surveys are incorrect and that if the Democrats win it will only be because the election has been “rigged.”
Trump won Pennsylvania by less than 1 percent of the vote four years ago, but voter surveys presently give Biden a 5-point advantage.
Although Biden was born in Scranton, Trump said, he left it 68 years ago and has “abandoned Pennsylvania.”
He said that a Biden presidency would put an end to the US economic recovery, downplaying the importance of the economic crisis that the coronavirus pandemic has brought. Over the past six months, with states reopening their formerly locked-down economies at Trump’s insistence, Covid-19 cases have spiked and the labor market is still not showing significant signs of recovery, although the stock market has been powering to new highs.
Saying that the Democrats would bring “socialism” into the US economy, Trump tried to spark fear among the white middle class of such a scenario, asserting that they will throw open the US borders to illegal migrants, abolish the police, increase the number of refugees in the country and implement the biggest tax increase in history.
Trump said that the policies of former President Barack Obama, whom Biden served as vice president for eight years, left the US “weak,” disrespected and in danger around the world.
He made his remarks in front of a huge sign reading “Jobs, jobs, jobs!”
With the start of the virtual Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee on Monday, Trump has returned to holding campaign rallies, although the gatherings have been much reduced in size from their former levels.
In a few days, the Republicans will hold their own convention at which Trump will accept the party’s reelection nomination.
Trump laid out his campaign strategy for the upcoming election: alarming voters who mobilized to back him in 2016 by ceaselessly raising the specter of higher taxes, less religious freedom and restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms, all of which he claims will come in a Biden administration.
The president said that US security would disappear and drug cartels and illegal migrants would pour into the country from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador if Biden is elected.
On the other hand, Trump said that the US has been the country that has best managed the coronavirus pandemic, despite the fact that it has the world’s highest Covid-19 death toll – more than 173,000 – and adding, without providing any evidence, that the spread of the disease is in its final stages.
Trump needs to mobilize the white middle and working class vote that enabled him to win key states in 2016, despite the dire coronavirus situation in Pennsylvania, Florida and the Midwest – some of his strongest bastions of support.
“They’re coming for you,” he said, meaning the Democrats.