President Trump on Friday slammed “thugs” who confronted his supporters outside the White House a day earlier and mocked his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, in his first rally since accepting the Republican nomination for a second term.
Trump told a crowd in New Hampshire that anti-police-brutality activists who accosted his 1,500 Republican National Convention guests outside the White House gates “don’t even know who George Floyd is.”
“You ask them, ‘Who is George Floyd?’ They couldn’t even tell you. These are just bad people,” he said.
Trump blamed DC Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser for widely circulated scenes of activists confronting Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and double-amputee Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.).
Trump spoke with Air Force One as a backdrop at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. His campaign distributed signs saying “This is a peaceful protest,” suggesting a double standard in coverage of anti-police brutality gatherings.
“You know what I say? Protesters your ass. I don’t talk about my ass,” Trump said. “We’re not going to let our country be destroyed by a bunch of nut jobs.”
The campaign distributed masks to protect against COVID-19, but many rallygoers seated in tightly packed folding chairs didn’t wear them.
Trump skewered Biden as a “low IQ individual” and mocked the former vice president’s vague plans to visit swing states.
“Sleepy Joe’s coming out. He said in 10 days. That’s a long — 10 days, 10 Days. That’s like an eternity in Trumpville,” the president said.
Trump touted various policies, boasting of passing criminal justice reform legislation in 2010. He said he “killed our terrorist enemies” and “kept America out of foolish, stupid, ridiculous foreign wars.”
Trump said COVID-19 “was probably sent in by China — who the hell knows how it got here” and said “China is trying to just hug and kiss Joe Biden.”
The state’s Republican Gov. Chris Sununu declined to attend, citing the coronavirus pandemic — though he did earlier greet Trump on the tarmac. “I try to avoid large crowds,” he said.
Biden also has plans to hit the road, though details remain vague. At a Thursday fundraiser with trial lawyers, Biden said he would visit Arizona, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
In a jab at Trump’s generally non-socially distanced rallies, Biden said, “we’re going to do it in a way that is totally consistent with being responsible, unlike what this guy’s doing.”
Both Trump and Biden will lean heavily on their running mates in the final two months of campaigning. Vice President Mike Pence visited Duluth, Minn., and Traverse City, Mich., on Friday. On Tuesday, Pence will campaign in Exeter, Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Biden running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) heads to swing-state Florida on Saturday for a kickoff event for a pro-Biden group of Hispanic businesspeople.
Harris “is not competent,” Trump said in New Hampshire. “I want to see the first woman president also,” Trump said. “They’re all saying, ‘We want Ivanka’.”