During one of the three rallies he held in Pennsylvania on Monday, President Trump claimed that his agenda is all about “unlimited optimism, opportunity, growth and prosperity,” while his opponent Joe Biden is promising “doom and gloom and depression.” But Trump had a bit of trouble focusing on those points: he also alleged that the media is preoccupied by former President Obama’s good looks, made a laughably false allegation about Senator Cory Booker, and downplayed the threat of the pandemic in a state that just reported its highest number of new cases in a single day. Below is a selection of some of the final messages that Trump hoped to impart to some of the nation’s most important voters in the week before the election.
Trump predicts that a Biden win means “no air conditioning in summer, no heat in the winter”
Trump kicked off the first of his three rallies talking about fracking, declaring it an issue of “existential importance” for the state and falsely describing Joe Biden’s stance as a “plan to abolish the entire U.S. oil industry,” an agenda that Trump claimed “means no fracking, no jobs, no energy for Pennsylvania families.”
Adding that Biden wants to “go wind,” Trump painted a picture of a windmill-dependent Biden energy plan: “Surging energy bills, no air conditioning in summer, no heat in the winter, no electricity during peak hours. ‘Let’s watch President Trump on TV.’ ‘I’m sorry, we can’t. The wind isn’t blowing today, darling.’” At his second rally, he also campaigned against Biden’s plans for “doom and gloom and depression and despair” with fantastical promises of “unlimited optimism, opportunity, growth, and prosperity.” Presenting himself as a beacon of light, Trump told voters that “this election is a choice between a Trump super-recovery” and “a Biden Depression … the likes of which we have never seen outside, perhaps, 1929.”
Trump says Senator Cory Booker, former mayor of Newark, “never lived” in Newark
Trump claims the media favors Obama because he’s handsome
At his second rally of the day, the president offered a bizarre spin on his claim of media bias against him, suggesting that news outlets give Obama better coverage because of his good looks.
“They say, ‘Oh … he’s so rhetorically good.’ I never thought he was a good speaker, personally. I really never did. And they say, ‘He’s so handsome, he’s so handsome,’” Trump said of his predecessor. He then pivoted to a crowd-size contest, claiming the media doesn’t want to show Obama’s crowds because they’re so meager and doesn’t want to cover Trump’s turnout “for the opposite reason. Because this is amazing.”
Later, the president again decried Obama’s attendance rate at a speech Trump seemed to think the former president gave earlier in the day. Obama did not give a speech on Monday.
Trump suggests he’ll punish the governor (and thus Pennsylvanians) because he opposed holding a huge campaign event during a public-health crisis
The president appeared to threaten Governor Tom Wolf for allegedly making it difficult for Trump to secure a venue for his mid-pandemic rally:
The attack comes after the governor publicly condemned the president for holding rallies in the state during a pandemic, a decision that Trump made in defiance of gathering limits, social-distancing requirements, and mask orders — concerns Wolf aired in a statement last month. Trump took aim at Wolf throughout the day, falsely claiming that the governor is the one who “counts the ballots” and that he has Pennsylvania on statewide lockdown.
Trump says he’s sorry that Pennsylvanians can’t go to churches or restaurants — even though they can
Trump expressed sympathy for voters dealing with the supposed statewide lockdown, telling rallygoers that “it really is terrible” for the state to be “closing your churches” and shutting down restaurants — neither of which are true, as Pennsylvania is not shut down. Trump’s exaggeration is in line with similar attacks he has leveled at Democratic-run states. At the final presidential debate, the president claimed Michigan’s pandemic-related restrictions are “like a prison.”
Trump says the route to reelection is lined by “thousands of boats”
Railing against the “fake polls,” Trump suggested “rallies of boats” that are “organically” occurring “all over the place” are the true forecast his success:
Trump explains COVID-19 isn’t that bad, especially when you have 12 doctors
Reflecting on his own bout with COVID-19, Trump framed the dangerous illness as no big deal. “Then one day you get it. And, that’s okay. You get better. We have such great, I think, cures,” he said, brushing aside the more than 225,000 Americans who have died from the disease. Later, the president joked about his diagnosis and boasted about the level of medical attention he received from a dozen different specialists: “These doctors were so great, and there were a lot of them. There’re so many doctors, you know, when you’re president … I had 12 doctors, can you believe it?” Noting that “each one was a specialist, different parts of the body,” Trump bizarrely recalled “how they would grab my body” before praising the Regeneron, which produces the experimental antibody cocktail he received, for making him feel like “Superman.”
Trump claims Biden’s opposition to rallies stems from turnout anxiety, not pandemic safety concerns
Trump mocked Biden’s refusal to hold mega-rallies during a pandemic, framing his opponent’s attention to safety as an excuse. “He said that he doesn’t do these kinds of rallies because of COVID. No, he doesn’t do them because nobody shows up.”
Trump calls Biden family a “crime family”
Like so many Trump 2020 crowds before them, the crowd in Martinsburg brought back the rally-classic “lock her up” chant, referring to the president’s opponent in 2016. Upon hearing that familiar phrase, the president said that it is now being adapted for “Biden, because that’s a crime family, frankly.” Last month, the Manhattan district attorney’s office announced that Trump could be investigated for tax fraud based on “extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization” that has been reported in the press.