Donald Trump claims Joe Biden is state's 'worst nightmare' during Pennsylvania rally at rival's birthplace

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  • August 20, 2020
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Donald Trump staged a rally near his Democratic rival’s birthplace to deliver a scathing review of what he claims was “a half-century of Joe Biden failing America”.

The US President took the fight to Mr Biden’s old backyard on Thursday as he addressed a crowd of his supporters in Pennsylvania.

His speech came mere hours before Mr Biden was to formally accept the Democratic presidential nomination during the third night of the Democratic National Convention.

“Joe Biden is no friend of Pennsylvania — he is your worst nightmare,” Mr Trump declared.

He described his rival as a “puppet of the radical left”, suggesting that Mr Biden was out of touch with more conservative parts of the state.

Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Old Forge, Pennsylvania (Getty Images)

Mr Trump added that Mr Biden was best suited to return the country back to its pre-pandemic status, when unemployment stood at the lowest rates since the early 1960s and the economy was experiencing moderate growth.

He said a Biden win in November would usher in economic pain for Americans and more chaos in US cities that have endured sometimes violent protests in recent months over police brutality and racial injustice.

“If you want a vision of your life under a Joe Biden presidency, imagine the smouldering ruins of Minneapolis, the violent anarchy of Portland and the bloodstained sidewalks of Chicago coming to every city and town in America,” Mr Trump said.

Mr Biden was born in Scranton but his family moved to Delaware when he 10. His father, Joe Senior, was once a sales manager at a car dealership in Scranton, but quit when he thought the owner was trying to humiliate employees during a Christmas party.

Mr Trump has focused on holding multiple in-person events this week, meant to draw a contrast with the largely virtual campaign Mr Biden has conducted during the coronavirus pandemic.

The President visited two other battlegrounds, Wisconsin and Arizona, as well as Minnesota, one of the few blue states from 2016 that Mr Trump’s team feels like he may have a chance to flip this autumn.

Mr Trump greets supporters upon arrival at Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport in Avoca, Pennsylvania (AFP via Getty Images)

But his campaign has been warily watching his standing falter in the trio of Rust Belt states that carried him to the presidency in 2016.

Mr Trump captured Pennsylvania by a mere 44,000 votes four years ago and has since clashed with the state’s Democratic governor over efforts to reopen its economy.

Many in the Trump campaign have all but written off Michigan, a state battered by the virus, and whose governor has repeatedly fought with the president.

But advisers believe Pennsylvania, like Wisconsin, remains in play and could be captured again if the economy continues to rebound.

The Biden campaign dismissed Mr Trump’s visit as a lame campaign gambit.

“This sideshow is a pathetic attempt to distract from the fact that Trump’s presidency stands for nothing but crises, lies and division,” said Biden spokesman Andrew Bates.

Additional reporting by Associated Press.