Biden, Trump in battle in battlefield states 21 days before election

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Johnstown (United States) (AFP)

President Donald Trump told a crowd in Pennsylvania on Tuesday that he was fighting “Marxists” and “fools” while his Democratic challenger Joe Biden accused him in Florida, another key electoral state, of treating Americans as “consumables” during the Covid-19 pandemic.

With just 21 days to go to the Nov. 3 election and badly in the polls, Trump has pulled all the sinister exaggerations on Democrats and slurs on Biden’s mental state that he has in his arsenal.

He said Biden was “choking like a dog” during their televised debate, mentally called him “downcast” and claimed the Democratic frontrunner was the Communists’ pawn.

“He’s ceding control to socialists, Marxists and left-wing extremists,” Trump told the large, noisy crowd in Johnstown. “He cannot resist the madmen who run his party. ”

To take his long-standing account that Biden, 77, too fragile for the presidency, Trump, 74, tweeted a grossly spoofed image claiming to show Biden in a wheelchair, surrounded by elderly people in wheelchairs. rolling into a room. .

“Biden for president,” the caption read, with “p” crossed out to change the word to “resident.”

The mocking presentation of the infirm elderly was somewhat surprising given the president’s seemingly growing problems with retaining the loyalty of the elderly, a significant electoral force.

– ‘Crush the virus’ –

In Johnstown, Trump echoed the exterior image he developed for his surprise victory in 2016, telling the crowd that he was fighting a “selfish and corrupt political class” in Washington.

But even as he wowed the crowd with his biggest rhetorical hits, Trump once again showed that despite his bad poll showing he had no intention of trying to reach Democrats in a nation deeply divided.

“It’ll end up being a full-scale version of Venezuela if they get in,” he said, painting a nightmarish anti-immigrant vision of a country where Democrats give free hospital care to “illegal aliens” all over the place. by “decimating Medicare and destroying your Social Security.” ”

The coronavirus, which has claimed more than 215,000 lives in America, was largely an afterthought, even though Trump himself was hospitalized for three nights after testing positive in early October.

“We are going to crush the virus very quickly. It’s already happening, ”Trump said, despite part of the United States now reporting a sharp rise in infections.

“Soon it will be perfecto,” he said.

– President ‘erratic’ –

Hours earlier, Biden was in Florida hosting one of the much more modest events typical of his low-key campaign, focusing on Trump’s handling of the pandemic.

Arguably even more prominent on election day than Pennsylvania, Florida is a battleground state Trump won in 2016, but where polls currently show Biden ahead.

Biden courted the elderly, recounting an event at a retirement center in Pembroke Pines, north Miami, that Trump “never focused on you.”

“His handling of this pandemic has been erratic, just like his presidency has been,” he said.

Biden recalled that Trump had previously pointed out that the virus – which has wreaked particularly brutal havoc on the elderly – “infects virtually no one.”

“You are replaceable, you are forgettable, you are practically no one. That’s how he sees it, ”said Biden, who, unlike Trump, wore a face mask throughout his remarks.

Trump was also in Florida on Monday night for his first rally since recovering from his fight with Covid-19. This week, he will travel to Iowa and North Carolina, then back to Florida and Georgia.

– Swing states –

Iowa and Georgia were two states Trump won easily in 2016, but polls show close races three weeks before the Nov. 3 election.

And a poll of likely Florida voters released Tuesday by the University of the Atlantic at Florida (FAU) gave Biden a 51% to 47% lead in that country.

“Joe Biden continues to compete better for senior voters than Hillary Clinton did in 2016, and that could make a difference in Florida,” said Kevin Wagner, political science professor at the FAU.

Forty-four percent of those polled said Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis was good or excellent, while 50% said it was bad or terrible.

Trump dismissed the polls, calling them “bogus.”

According to McDonald’s US Elections Project, voters have so far cast 11.86 million votes in states that report early voting.

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