United States President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden clashed Monday as the presidential campaign entered its traditional homestretch during the Labor Day holiday in the United States.
Trump has described Biden, whom he trails in national polls, as a threat to the economy and “stupid,” while Biden aimed at Trump’s reported bashing of fallen troops.
Speaking at a White House press conference, Trump said: “Biden and his very liberal roommate [Senator Kamala Harris], the most liberal person in Congress for that matter – is not a competent person in my opinion, would destroy this country and destroy this economy. ”
He also called Biden “stupid”. Trump has often referred to the former vice president as “Sleepy Joe.”
Trump once again rejected a report from The Atlantic magazine that he called the fallen US soldiers “suckers” and “losers”, calling it a “hoax.” The story dominated media coverage for days and threatened Trump’s support among veterans and the military, a key voting bloc.
“There is no one who respects not only our military people, but also the people who gave their lives in the military,” Trump said.
Biden cited the remarks reported during his campaign in the electoral battlefield state of Pennsylvania.
Referring to his son Beau Biden, who served in Iraq as a member of the Delaware National Guard and died of brain cancer in 2015, he said: “Beau was neither a loser nor a sucker. . … He served with heroes. ”
Biden’s visit to Pennsylvania on Monday kicked off a wave of trips to Biden and Trump’s battlefield states this week, as some polls show the race is tightening less than 60 days before the Nov. 3 election.
With the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest linked to racism and police brutality garnering attention in recent months, Biden seeks to maintain his advantage by portraying the Republican president as an ineffective leader who thrives in chaos and has left the working class behind.
Trump has struggled to change the contours of the campaign despite heavily loaded rhetoric about racial polarization and “law and order” aimed at motivating his base and attracting new supporters to the suburbs of the major swing states, such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Biden meets with union leaders
Biden, meanwhile, was garnering a trio of organized worker approvals as he headed to Harrisburg, Pa. For a virtual town hall in the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industry Organizations with AFL-CIO union president Richard Trumka.
First meeting with local union leaders in the backyard of a supporter’s home in Lancaster, Pa., Biden spoke about trade, the coronavirus, and the economy, criticizing Trump for “refusing to deal with problems that affect ordinary people ”and called for strengthening unions.
Biden has vowed to be the “strongest labor president” in the country’s history, promising to hold leaders legally responsible if they interfere with union organizing, and to raise the minimum wage and strengthen the labor force. National Council for Labor Relations.
“People have understood that Wall Street’s financial assistants are not the ones who make this country work. You are the essential workers, ”Biden said during the virtual event with Trumka.
Earlier Monday, Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris met with the family of a Wisconsin man who was shot by police last month to kick off his Labor Day visit to critical condition.
Harris reunited with Jacob Blake’s father, two sisters and members of his legal team at the Milwaukee airport while Blake’s mother and attorney Ben Crump joined on the phone. Blake also joined the conversation by phone.
Biden met the family last week in Milwaukee before heading to Kenosha, the town where police shot Blake seven times in the back, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.
Trump’s narrow victory in Wisconsin in 2016 helped send him to the White House.
The importance of the state in the 2020 elections was underscored by the four candidates who campaigned there last week.
The Biden campaign believes his support for workers could help get the vote in states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.