Joe Biden said Donald Trump sees older voters as “consumable” and “forgettable” as the Democratic presidential candidate seeks to gain new support in the battlefield state of Florida.
Biden’s visit on Tuesday came a day after the president’s own trip to Florida – his first outside Washington since his diagnosis of Covid-19.
Speaking to about 50 people at a socially remote event in Broward County, South Florida, Biden said Trump recklessly ignored the threat the virus posed to their at-risk population.
“For Donald Trump, you are consumable. You are forgettable. You are practically no one. This is how he sees the elderly. That’s how he sees you, ”Biden said.
He added that he was disappointed that Trump’s fight with the virus had not left him more chastised by his approach to the pandemic. “The longer Donald Trump is president, the more reckless he seems,” Biden said. “Thank goodness we only have three weeks left.”
A victory for Biden in Florida would seriously jeopardize the president’s chances of re-election, and the most recent opinion polls show the Democrat is ahead of the state’s major demographics, especially seniors. Trump won Florida in 2016 by 1.2 percentage points.
An Opinium Research and Guardian poll shows Biden’s lead over Trump to a record 17 points. About 57% of likely voters said they intended to vote for Biden, while only 40% said they would vote for the incumbent president. The 17-point gap is even larger than the 57% to 41% margin found by CNN earlier this month.
A Reuters / Ipsos poll released on Monday showed Biden a seven percentage point lead over Trump in Pennsylvania, with a majority of voters saying Biden would do a better job of handling the pandemic.
Early voting before election day Nov. 3 is breaking records across the United States, with more than 11.8 million votes cast to date, including more than 1.6 million in Florida, according to the Elections Project of the United States. ‘University of Florida.
Biden, 77, accused Trump, 74, of wanting to gut the social security benefits program for retirees, an allegation that Trump’s campaign again denied on Tuesday, saying Biden was trying to “scare seniors for political reasons ”.
Biden then hosted an outdoor event in nearby Miramar, Fla., With dozens of cars in attendance, honking their horns as they listened to his speech.
Trump traveled to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, arguably the most important state on the electoral map, on Tuesday, speaking at his second rally since contracting the coronavirus for more than an hour for thousands people crammed together tightly and mostly without masks.
He told the crowd he felt extra pressure to win because Biden was the worst presidential candidate ever. He also tweeted an image superimposing Biden’s face on that of a nursing home resident, something older voters likely won’t like.
Trump made a local speech, hammering out the false claim that a Biden administration would limit fracking in areas where the economy is heavily dependent on energy. Biden’s proposal would only ban new leases on federal lands, a fraction of fracking operations in the United States.
Boasting his elimination of a federal rule that would have brought more low-rental housing to the suburbs, Trump focused on groups whose support he has struggled to maintain, including female voters discouraged by his rhetoric.
“So I ask you to do me a favor. Suburban women: Will you love me? Please. Please. I saved your fucking neighborhood, okay? Trump said. “The other thing: I don’t have a lot of time to be that nice. You know I can do it, but I have to go fast.
Trump is planning rallies in Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida later this week as he travels to crucial states just weeks before the November election.
The president’s platform, however, also sends him to areas that are favorable to him, suggesting that his campaign aims to mobilize his conservative base rather than reaching undecided voters, many of whom live in the country’s suburbs.
The president returned to the campaign trail Monday night in Florida for the first time since revealing he had the coronavirus, throwing protective masks at supporters but not wearing them himself as he was talking about his recovery.
“I’ve been through it now. They say I’m immune. I feel so powerful, ”Trump told the crowd, who stood side by side, most of them not wearing face covers. “I will kiss everyone in this audience, I will kiss guys and beautiful women, I will give you a big kiss.”
The rally came hours after the White House said Trump had tested negative for Covid-19 on consecutive days and was not contagious to others. In a memo, White House doctor Dr Sean Conley did not specify when the tests were performed.
Biden criticized Trump’s handling of the pandemic. Trump worked for months to distract public attention from the coronavirus, which has infected more than 7.8 million people in the United States, killing more than 214,000 and putting millions out of work.
Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report