Joe Biden brought his presidential campaign to Cincinnati on Monday with a message to the Ohio Democrats – their votes matter; and they can help him heal the divisions that President Donald Trump has created in this country over the past four years.
“It’s time to reunite America by choosing the truth over lies,” said the former vice president to a small, socially distant group of invited guests spread out on the marble floor of the rotunda in the museum center at Union Terminal.
Biden, who entered the rotunda wearing a white face mask, told specially invited guests that while he “runs as a proud Democrat,” he will be President of All People.
“I will work as hard for those who voted against me as I did for those who voted for me,” said Biden, who came to Ohio three weeks and one day before the November 3rd elections.
Trump has left millions of Americans exposed to the cold and grace of a seriously battered economy, he said.
“The economic outlook is very uncertain,” said Biden. “In Ohio, people are concerned about whether or not they will be able to make the next mortgage payment.”
“You see how the people at the top are getting better and better in this terrible situation, and they ask, ‘Who is watching me?’ “”
As with his debate with Trump last month and with every campaign freeze so far, he burned Trump because he knew as early as February that the coronavirus was a potentially deadly virus in the air that was much worse than the common flu and it was the American not telling people what he knew.
“He knew how dangerous this disease was, but he did it and said nothing,” said Biden. “He said he didn’t want to panic the American people.” Americans don’t panic. Trump panicked. And the longer he is president, the more ruthless he becomes. ”
At this late stage in the campaign, Trump is just returning to the campaign after testing positive for COVID-19 and spending a weekend at Walter Reed Army Medical Center before returning to the White House. Now he says he is “immune”, although it is not yet clear that he has fully recovered.
Biden said Trump’s “reckless” demeanor – seldom wearing a face mask and running campaign events with large crowds of mostly exposed people – will only make the pandemic worse, not better.
“How many empty chairs will there be around the dining table because of the irresponsibility of the Trump administration,” Biden said. “How many?”
Biden visited Toledo earlier in the day, and Monday’s two Ohio events followed strict rules aimed at preventing people from exposing people to the COVID-19 virus, requiring face masks and socially distant followers. This was not the case at Trump events.
Until recently, there was an assumption in political circles that Ohio would not be a factor in this year’s presidential election. After all, Donald Trump won Buckeye State in 2016 by 8 percentage points ahead of Hillary Clinton.
The suspicion was that Ohio, with its aging population and Republican-dominated state government, had finally gone red.
Democrats made big gains in local office in 2019; and the trend appears to continue as Trump’s approval rating continues to decline.
A New York Times / Siena College poll of Ohio voters in early October found that Trump’s lead for 2016 has disappeared. The battle is now a statistical dead heat, with Biden at 45% and Trump at 44%. In several other polls, the race for 18 votes in Ohio is too close.
Why the levy for Trump? The polls also show that Trump’s support in the Ohio suburbs is waning, especially among female voters. The Cincinnati area is no exception.
The Biden-Harris campaign seeks to use a strategic move in the Trump Pence campaign to get advertising dollars out of Ohio and channel the money to battlefield states, particularly Florida.
Biden’s campaign has invested heavily in radio advertising in the rural counties of western Ohio, as well as the eastern and southeastern parts of the state – in other words, the places Trump scored for Clinton four years ago.
The Ohio Republican Party and Trump campaign insist they won’t write off Ohio with the election in just three weeks.
“While Joe Biden and the Democrats are looking for Ohio in the eleventh hour, Trump Victory never took Buckeye State for granted and developed the strongest grassroots operation in our state’s history,” said Dan Lusheck, spokesman for the Trump campaign in Ohio.
Biden, who was home in Delaware Monday morning before leaving for Ohio, took another COVID-19 test. A pool report from its early afternoon event in Toledo said the test result was negative for COVID-19.
In Toledo, Biden spoke in front of a United Auto Workers union hall, where supporters heard his talk about about 30 socially distant cars – all American-made, of course.
Biden arrived at the Museum Center at Union Terminal just after 5 p.m. where he was speaking to a specially invited group of local Democrats who were scattered across the floor of the rotunda and all socially separated from each other.
Both Biden and Trump supporters waited outside the Union Terminal, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Biden motorcade.
Jack Snyder, 94, of Walnut Hills, a veteran and Trump supporter, came to show his support for the president riding a 3-wheel scooter. Snyder said Trump was the right man for the job. Snyder said he stood “with all of my veterans who stand for the flag, not those who kneel or take a knee.”
Jeff King supports Biden. He is with the Bricklayers and Allied Craftmakers Union. He said he saw a real attack on the pillars of democracy and that government believes it can do anything it wants. “If I can do this for another four years, I’ll be afraid of what this country will be like,” said King.
Additional reporting from Ann Thompson.
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