Trump predicts repeat in Pennsylvania
Touts fed judicial appointments ahead of court fight
MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — President Donald Trump predicted Tuesday that in 42 days, he will repeat his performance of 2016 and win Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes.
“I’m all for fracking,” he told the crowd. “My opponent is against oil, guns and God.”
In the Nov. 3 election, the Republican incumbent is facing Scranton, Pa., native Joe Biden, a Roman Catholic and the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party, a frequent target of his 95-minute campaign speech at a packed outdoor gathering in front of a private airplane hangar.
“I don’t think of him as a radical lefty, but basically, he’s controlled by them,” Trump said of Biden, saying he’s accomplished more in 47 months as president than Biden, former vice president under President Barack Obama and U.S. senator from Delaware, has in 47 years. The president also made a point of mispronouncing the first name of Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris.
Using the same refrain a few minutes later, Trump talked of churches being closed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and referenced Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who was booed.
Wolf has not ordered houses of worship shuttered, but limited the size of gatherings in general. Court battles still are underway, and last week a Trump-appointed federal judge ruled Wolf had acted unconstitutionally.
Trump discussed his 300 appointments to the federal judiciary, highlighting one development in particular: He thanked Utah Sen. Mitt Romney for announcing his support of a vote in that chamber to replace U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday.
The president plans to nominate his third candidate for the nation’s highest court and is expected to announce a nominee this weekend.
“They will set policy for 50 years,” he said.
Romney broke with Republican colleagues by supporting one impeachment count during the U.S. Senate trial in January.
“Oh, did you hear today?” Trump asked. “They want to impeach me again” to delay a vote on the Supreme Court appointment, citing Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and calling her “Crazy Nancy.”
“I got impeached by making a perfect phone call,” he said of the charge that he solicited interference from Ukraine to help his re-election bid.
Trump carried western Pennsylvania counties — save Allegheny — in 2016, and he hopes to do it again in the Nov. 3 election despite an unemployment rate hovering around 10 percent in the wake of the pandemic that has resulted in more than 8,000 deaths in the Keystone State.
“They let the plague out of China,” he said, saying he has “saved millions of lives” but not mentioning the American death toll has just reached the 200,000 mark, the most of any country. But he said, “I am devastated to see it happening. Now Europe has a big spike.”
“It’s the China virus,” he said. “They should have stopped it.” The president said all Biden wants to talk about is the coronavirus.
Trump told his enthusiastic supporters, “We will ban deadly sanctuary cities and uphold the sanctity of life.”