Washington DC, Oct 27 (efe-epa).- A week before the United States elections, President Donald Trump targeted the heart of the Midwest with promises of trade protectionism and aid to the fossil fuel industries, while his rival, Joe Biden, dared to woo Georgia, where a Democrat has not won since 1992.
The elections are a “matter of economic survival for Michigan!” Trump cried during a rally at the airport of state capital Lansing.
The president argued that his trade policies will bring new investments to the automotive industry in the region and promised that he will protect hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” a controversial oil and gas extraction technique predominant in Michigan and other key states, such as Pennsylvania.
Trump accused Biden of wanting to “abolish the oil industry” and ban fracking, yet again, despite the fact that the Democrat has repeatedly denied his intention to restrict the practice.
Trump’s campaign drew some 10,000 people despite the drizzle and the temperature barely exceeding zero degrees Celsius.
Michigan is of special importance to the president because in 2016 he was the first Republican candidate to win the state since 1988, the year in which the Democrats imposed their power.
Trump took the opportunity to attack the governor of Michigan, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer, two weeks after more than a dozen people linked to a far-right militia were arrested and accused of planning her kidnapping and possible murder.
“I don’t think she (Whitmer) likes me too much,” said Trump, who cast doubt on the plot to kidnap her, offering no evidence and contradicting the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In response, the public began chanting “Lock her up, lock her up!” – a slogan already used by his supporters in 2016 to attack his then rival, Hillary Clinton.
MELANIA’S FIRST CAMPAIGN EVENT
Around the same time, first lady Melania Trump acknowledged at a rally in Pennsylvania that, at times, she does not like the way her husband expresses himself.
“I do not always agree with the way he says things,” she said, causing laughter among the public, adding: “But it is important to him he speaks directly to the people he serves.”
Melania, who until now had not campaigned alone for her husband, focused her message on the pandemic and directly accused Biden of having politicized the tragedy.
“Now he suggests that he could have done a better job. Well, the American people can look at Joe Biden’s 36 years in Congress and eight years in the vice presidency and determine whether they think he’ll finally be able to get something done for the American people,” she said.
BIDEN AGAINST THE ‘CHARLATANS’
Meanwhile, Biden visited rural Georgia, a traditionally Republican state where a Democrat has not won since 1992, but where polls show a tighter race in this election due to a possible increase in the turnout of African Americans and Hispanics.
Surrounded by pine trees and flags, Biden gave a slow and solemn speech in which he quoted Pope Francis and former President Franklin Roosevelt (1933-1945), revered in the US for having brought the country out of the Great Depression and guiding it during WWII.
Biden wanted to emerge as Roosevelt’s heir and promised that he would help the US overcome this difficult historical moment, defined by political polarization, the pandemic and protests against racism.
“Time and again throughout our history,” he warned, “we have seen the charlatans, the conmen, the phony populists – who have sought to play to our fears, appeal to our worst appetites, and pick at the oldest scabs we have for their own political gain.”
“They appear when the nation has been hit the hardest and we’re at our most vulnerable. Never to solve anything. Always to benefit themselves.”