President Donald Trump made his pitch to him home state of Florida in a setting of double rallies on Friday as he ramped up his attacks on Democratic rival Joe Biden.
Trump painted a picture of economic recovery and downplayed the spread of the coronavirus as he claimed his rival would lock up the country and cause an economic depression.
‘This election is a choice between a Trump super recovery and Biden super depression. It’s a choice between a boom and a lockdown,’ he told the cheering crowd at the Pensacola airport.
Hundreds came out to cheer Trump, packed in together in a tight space with no social distancing and few wearing masks. The number of infections in Florida is on the rise.
Trump trails Biden in his home state but the race is tight. The RealClearPolitics polling average has Biden up by 2 points, well within the margin of error.
At his Florida rallies, Trump also unleashed a new campaign weapon – videos. He played several videos showing Biden in a bad light on Social Security, fracking Medicare that had the crowds roaring in laughter.
Trump argued he is the voters’ best choice for the next four years.
‘Joe works to enrich his family and I work for the American people,’ he said.
He claimed Biden would eliminate the second amendment and private healthcare, destroy the suburbs, and abolish fracking.
President Donald Trump campaigned for his home state of Florida with a rally in Pensacola
President Trump exited Air Force One and walked across the tarmac to his rally site
A young supporter of President Donald Trump listens to him speak during a campaign rally at Pensacola International Airport
Florida Governor Ron Desantis distribute caps during Trump’s campaign rally
He shrugged off the dangers of COVID, which has killed more 223,000 people.
Trump, who spent four days in Walter Reed Medical Center recovering from COVID, said that made him understand the virus better than anyone.
‘We understand that we understand the disease. I understand it better than you. I had it,’ he said.
‘What the hell was it all about,’ he added. He then recounted a discussion with his doctors: ‘They said sir you’ve tested positive. I said tested positive for what?’
But, he noted, after his medical treatment – which included dexamethasone, the experimental anti-viral drug from Regeneron, the antiviral drug remdesivir, and a steroid treatment that can cause mood swings – made him feel great.
‘I feel like Superman,’ he said.
And he claimed Biden would move the country backward on COVID.
‘Joe Biden will delay the vaccine, prolong the pandemic,’ he charged.
‘Joe Biden’s plan will crush American; my plan will crush the virus. We’re going to get back to normal windows where we were seven months ago,’ he said.
He kept up his attacks on Biden, hitting Biden, a known moderate, for being too liberal.
‘Joe Biden has made a corrupt bargain in exchange for his party’s nomination. He has handed control of his party over to socialists communists Marxist left wing extremists,’ he said.
President Trump spoke to a large crowd in Pensacola, Florida, on Friday evening
Trump and Biden are essentially tied in the polls in the critical battleground state
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany arrive for a campaign rally at Pensacola International Airport
He also claimed China wast trying to help Biden win after a report Russia was after voter data to try and aid the president.
‘Joe Biden is a corrupt politician, and he’s compromised fully compromised. China is desperate for Biden to win. Because if Biden wins, China wins, and if China wins, China will own America, they will own,’ he said.
He claimed Hunter Biden’s business dealings with China and the Ukraine netted the Bidens millions even though Joe Biden has released over 20 years of tax returns and there is no sign of that money.
‘Joe Biden sold out American workers in every turn, shattering the lives of millions of American families while their families,’ Trump said.
He said he ran for president because of that kind of corruption.
‘I couldn’t sit by and watch that I couldn’t sit by and watch these horrible trade deals that are ripping off America all the time. I couldn’t sit back and watch China, year after year after year, hundreds of billions of dollars they made,’ he said.
His attacks echoed many he lobbied at Biden earlier Friday at a rally at The Villages.
He started off hitting his Democratic rival on his oil policy.
‘This is probably the most shocking division ever made,’ Trump said.
‘Could be one of the worst mistakes’ in presidential political history, he argued.
Biden’s pledge to ‘transition away from the oil industry’ shook up that energy sector, leaving the Democratic nominee to try and clarify his stance, saying he would transit it out ‘over time.’
The president argued it would hurt Biden in some of the Midwest states both candidates are courting.
‘Texas are you watching. Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Ohio are you watching,’ he said.
Pennsylvania and Ohio are critical states for winning the White House. Democrats are also making a play for Texas, which has been trending blue.
President Trump at his rally in The Villages, Florida
Marine One circled the crowd before landing
Florida is considered a must-win for Trump if he wants a second term
Trump relieved some of his debate moments, recalling how brought about Biden’s answer on oil and how he attacked Biden on immigration.
He also showed a video – a rare occurrence at a Trump rally – that showed Biden and Bernie Sanders arguing about social security at a Democratic primary debate, a huge issue in Florida.
The ad was a Sanders campaign ad during the Democratic primary.
At his rally in Pensacola he showed a video showing Biden talking about fracking, which Trump claims Biden will end and Biden has said he would not.
Trump went after Biden hard – a change in tone from how he showed restraint at Thursday night’s presidential debate.
‘He’s a corrupt politician,’ he said of Biden. ‘He’s a liar. He’ll look at you and lie.’
He argued Biden has changed his stance on fracking and oil.
‘This guy is either really stupid or lies,’ he said.
He also criticized what he called Biden’s ‘dark, dismal, gloomy’ vision for the future, adding ‘we’re about the American dream.’
He played to the crowd, praising the the location and joked how he liked to watch them drive around on their golf carts.
And he even joked: ‘I’ve got an idea, I will sell Mar-a-Lago and I’ll move to The Villages,’ which led to cheers.
He told the crowd of several hundred, many of whom were not wearing face masks nor social distancing, that the U.S. is ’rounding the corner.’ Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Florida.
‘Normal life is all we want to resume,’ he said in reference to the shutdowns that came with the COVID pandemic.
‘We’re rounding the corner beautifully,’ he said.
And he criticized Biden: ‘All he talks about is Covid, Covid, Covid. Because they wanna scare people.’
The president also reminded supporters to cast their ballot, which he plans to do in Palm Beach on Saturday.
He pointed to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a close ally, and joked: ‘If we don’t win I’ll never speak to him again.’
‘I’m voting early tomorrow in Florida,’ Trump reminded the state, which started its early in-person voting this week.
Trump attacked Biden throughout most of his campaign rally
President Trump is holding two rallies in Florida on Friday
Supporters of President Donald Trump cheer as he arrives for a campaign rally at The Villages Polo Club
A Trump supporter dances in the crowd
Marine One approaches The Villages Polo Club for landing
Florida, which is considered a must-win for Trump if he wants a second term, saw a new record of early votes cast on Monday, the first day the option was available. More than 3.1 million votes were cast with the majority from Democrats at 1.2 million. Republicans cast 1 million ballots and the rest were other parties or had no affiliation.
‘I’m old fashioned I guess. I like to get in line,’ the president said. In Florida’s primary he voted by mail.
‘We’ll catch up later on,’ he said of reports Democrats are ahead in early voting.
He asked the crowd of a few hundred how many of them had voted already. About half raised their hands and cheered. He then asked them how many of them voted for ‘President Trump’ and the cheers grew louder.
The president made a dramatic entrance to the rally site, a polo field in the middle of the state. Marine One circled overhead as the crowd cheered and took photos on their cell phones. It landed to the side of the rally site for Trump to walk out to his signature song ‘Proud to Be An American.’
Most of Trump’s remarks were focused on attacking Biden, including reiterating his attacks on Biden’s on Hunter for his business ties in the Ukraine and China.
‘Where’s Hunter,’ he said, getting cheers with his popular campaign line.
He also joked about Hunter being seen again, adding: ‘Hunter you gained weight.’
President Trump also returned to one of his 2016 arguments that helped him win the White House – his outsider status when it came to Washington D.C.
‘I’m not a politician,’ he said to huge cheers.
Trump is kicking off his final stretch of campaigning before November 3 with two rallies in Florida on Friday and three rallies in three states: North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin. On Sunday he’ll campaign in New Hampshire, and, on Monday he’ll be in Pennsylvania.