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Thousands converge for rally

Trump calls Biden ‘a dummy’ at Johnstown campaign stop

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Kathy Jeffreys of Augusta, W.Va., arrived mid-morning Tuesday at the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport for a rally that didn’t begin in earnest until evening, when President Donald Trump was scheduled to speak.

Jeffreys and the six other members of her extended family standing with her in the intermittent drizzle didn’t mind the wait — or the rain.

“This was on my bucket list,” Jeffreys said.

Jeffreys was one of an estimated 9,000 people who came to Johnstown to hear Trump laud his first-term efforts, while excoriating his Democratic opponent Joe Biden as weak and forgetful, coddled by the media, a tool of “the radical left,” a fan of “open borders” and an opponent of Second Amendment rights and industries such as fracking that are important to Pennsylvanians, according to Trump.

“He’s always been a dummy,” Trump said of Biden. “In his best years, he was considered a dumb guy.”

But the media doesn’t “call him out,” Trump said.

“I couldn’t get away with it for a minute,” Trump stated.

“He would shred the Second Amendment,” he said of Biden.

But Trump called himself the candidate of law and order, citing numerous endorsements from law enforcement agencies, including the Pennsylvania State Police.

Under his administration, the U.S. has become “energy independent for the first time ever,” Trump said. “With Pennsylvania workers leading the way,” it will remain so, he said.

The Democrats, though, “hate domestic energy production,” Trump said. “They hate beautiful, clean coal.”

Trump claimed he is putting an end to “ridiculous foreign wars” pursued by prior administrations.

Under Obama, “American policies were a total disaster,” he said.

The current administration is on the verge of defeating COVID-19, saving “2 million lives,” Trump said.

By contrast, Biden favors lockdowns, like Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, he said.

“You can’t make the cure worse than the problem,” Trump said.

BIDEN IN FLORIDA

Biden, meanwhile, campaigned in Florida. Both states are key to the 2020 presidential election.

He is criticizing Trump for a campaign ad that wrongly suggests that Dr. Anthony Fauci is in the president’s corner.

Making his second stop in Broward County, Biden blasted Trump for “quoting Dr. Fauci out of context” after the president spent months downplaying the COVID-19 threat. Biden told hundreds of supporters at a drive-in rally in Miramar that “we are so much better than this.”

Fauci, the federal government’s top infectious-disease expert, told CNN on Monday the Trump campaign should take down the ad, calling it “really unfortunate and really disappointing that they did that.”

The Democratic challenger is making a late push for Florida in hopes of cutting off Trump’s path to an Electoral College majority. Trump won Florida narrowly in 2016, and he likely needs the state again to win re-election.

Biden drew a racially and ethnically diverse crowd in Miramar. He spoke earlier Tuesday at a community center for seniors. Nonwhite voters are a key part of the Democratic base, while many older white voters can be swing voters in the perennial battleground state.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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