President Trump on Thursday pushed his “law and order” message and knocked Democratic rival Joe Biden’s mental fitness during a rally near Pittsburgh — hours after Biden visited Kenosha, Wis., in a visit that skipped the parts of town ravaged by rioting.
The president, speaking on the tarmac of an airport in Latrobe for 92 minutes, also slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to a closed San Francisco salon and blamed “incompetent” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio for the nation’s high coronavirus death toll.
“Biden’s plan is to appease the domestic terrorists and my plan is to arrest them and prosecute them,” Trump told a cheering crowd. Biden’s visit to Kenosha, he said, was “a little late — I was gonna say, ‘Hey listen, we ended that problem,’ ” in reference to the national guard troops that ended the violence.
Trump also mockingly claimed the former vice president enjoys wearing a mask to protect against COVID-19 because it brings him psychological comfort.
“I’ve never seen a man that liked a mask,” said Trump, who rarely wears a mask in public.
“Look, I’m all for it… wear your mask when you’re close together in particular and wash your hands and all those things, we have Labor Day weekend coming up. But did you ever see a man that likes a mask as much as him?”
Trump added: “A lot of times he has it hanging down. Because you know what? It gives him a feeling of security. If I were a psychiatrist, right? No I’d say — I’d say this guy’s got some big issues.”
Trump hailed his own leadership in the COVID-19 pandemic and told the closely gathered crowd a vaccine would be available soon. He noted that New York leads the nation in deaths, and said the national toll would be much lower without the state’s once-high numbers.
“A big percentage of the people that died in this country died because New York was incompetently run by Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo,” Trump said.
Trump also mocked Pelosi (D-Calif.) for claiming she was “set up” by the salon owner who released footage of her walking through the salon without a mask on and getting a blow-out despite such indoor business being ordered closed to the public.
“She said, ‘I was set up. I was set up by the salon owner — I was set up.’ I said, ‘Tell me she didn’t say that.’ So I just put out that if she was set up, then she shouldn’t be leading the House of Representatives,” he said.
“You know what she should have done, honestly? She should have said, ‘I made a mistake, sorry.’ ”
Trump also gave a Pennsylvania-specific pitch to the crowd.
“Joe Biden spent the last 47 years shipping Pennsylvania jobs to China and foreign nations, and I’ve spent the last four years bringing them back home,” he said. “I ended the last administration’s eight year pure war on Pennsylvania oil and coal and fracking.”
Trump won Pennsylvania by just 44,000 votes over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. Recent polls indicate Trump is in a close contest against Biden.
“In his best days 25-30 years ago he was weak,” Trump said of Biden. “He was not known as being one of the smart ones and now it’s not exactly primetime.”