Trump Goes After Biden In His Native State Of Pennsylvania: He ‘Deserted’ You
MONTOURSVILLE, Pa. ― At a rally on Monday, President Donald Trump took several digs at former Vice President Joe Biden, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.
The president spoke Monday at a “Make America Great Again” rally in Montoursville, a small town in rural, central Pennsylvania ― a battleground state that Trump won in 2016.
“Biden deserted you, he’s not from Pennsylvania,” Trump said. “I guess he was born here, but he left you folks, he left for another state.”
“This guy talks about ‘I know Scranton.’ I know the places better,” he added. “He didn’t take care of you because he didn’t take care of your jobs.”
Biden, 76, was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, but moved to Delaware with his family at age 10. Later he served as U.S. senator for Delaware from 1973 to 2009, when he became Barack Obama’s vice president.
Over the weekend, Biden formally launched his 2020 bid with a rally in Philadelphia, the city where his campaign is headquartered, and slammed Trump as the “divider-in-chief.”
At Trump’s rally on Monday, the president compared the crowd sizes for Biden’s rally and his.
“We have thousands of people … look at the thousands and thousands of people we have,” Trump said. “They said [Biden] had 600 people … I’d say 150.”
Biden’s team said in a campaign email Saturday that there were about 6,000 people at Biden’s launch rally in Philadelphia.
In a crowded Democratic field of more than 20 candidates ― the country’s most diverse ever, with several women and people of color running ― Biden has been leading in early polls.
At his Monday rally, the president also took aim at Fox News for hosting town halls with Democratic 2020 candidates.
“What’s going on with Fox, by the way?” Trump said. “They’re putting more Democrats on than Republicans … Somebody is gonna have to explain the whole Fox deal to me.”
Trump on Sunday launched a Twitter tirade against the network for covering the Democratic presidential candidates, namely South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who that day participated in a Fox town hall.
“Hard to believe @FoxNews is wasting airtime on Mayor Pete, as Chris Wallace likes to call him,” Trump tweeted, referencing one of the channel’s moderate hosts. “Fox is moving more and more to the losing (wrong) side in covering the Dems.”
In addition to Buttigieg, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) have also done town halls with Fox in recent weeks. The network is scheduled to host another one with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on June 2.
The attack on Fox is rare for Trump, who has enjoyed a reportedly cozy relationship with the network and routinely praises his “great friends” who work there.
Mike Morack, an 18-year-old high school senior from Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, said Biden is “only from Pennsylvania when he wants votes.”
“You can’t be from two states at once,” he said.
Morack, who wore a “Donald Fucking Trump” T-shirt to Monday’s rally, disagreed with the president’s criticism of Fox News for hosting town halls for Democratic presidential candidates.
“I think they should put Democrats on because you want to appeal to other audiences, not just Republicans, you don’t wanna be biased, and Fox is, in my opinion, the fairest out of all of them,” Morack said. “They should have Democrats on for sure.”
Will Painter, a 54-year-old IT worker from Allentown, New Jersey, who came to the Pennsylvania rally, stood in line waiting for the shuttle bus back to his car.
He said that although he thinks it’s fine to have Democratic candidates on Fox News, he still thinks the right-wing network has “sold out.”
“I think something’s going on for sure and President Trump is pointing it out,” he said. “I think they are paid off or are in collusion with the deep state.”
Asked to elaborate, Painter pointed to Fox News’ hiring of former Democratic chair Donna Brazile as an on-air commentator.
“You can see that they’re doing things that they don’t need to do,” he added. “If they wanted to stay hard-line and supporting our president completely, they would tell the truth 100 percent of the time and quit pandering to the Democratic side for no reason.”
This story has been updated with quotes from the rally.
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