The president also claimed Biden, “doesn’t know he’s alive.”
“Sleepy Joe Biden. Do you know where he is now? He’s back in his damn basement, “Trump told the crowd.
He accused Nevada’s Democratic governor of trying to “rig the elections” after Trump campaign officials were forced to move the Saturday night rally from Reno, Nevada, as Covid-19 restrictions banned large crowds in the state . And he accused his political opponents of “hurting” efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine. The president also said he would only lose the November election if the Democrats “manipulate”
Trump’s fiery appearance at an airport hangar in Douglas County, which he promoted by more than 30 percentage points in 2016, ended a tumultuous week for his re-election campaign, which saw aides take over the defense after prerecorded interviews surfaced with the president, who admitted downplaying the game to have dangers from Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus when the virus first reached the United States. Landing in Silver State, Trump told reporters the pandemic was just around the corner and reiterated his unlikely claim that a vaccine would be available before the end of the year.
But coronavirus didn’t seem to cross the president’s mind as he stood in front of supporters on Saturday, railing against “bird cemeteries” piling up under wind turbines, denying and claiming concerns about “locking them up” chants that remain a staple of his rallies ‘Biden will be commended for his performance in the first presidential debate, as long as he gets off the stage safely.
It has been a strange series of attacks for the president to discharge in Nevada, where his campaign is trying to woo enough Hispanic voters to overcome the paper-thin margin for which he lost the state in 2016 – and possibly make up for losses elsewhere .
The president’s campaign has spent months devising a backup plan that could get him 270 votes in the event he loses one or more of the Rust Belt states he flipped four years ago and is heavily focused on areas where his message of law and order could break and where polls show modest growth in his minority support.
Nevada is among the places his campaign is targeting to rebuild enthusiasm for his dealings with the US economy and to cement his support among Hispanic voters. Coronavirus-related lockdowns decimated the local Las Vegas economy this summer after casinos and hotels were forced to close under statewide restrictions on large indoor gatherings and services. In Reno, the doors of local casinos were closed for nearly two months this summer, resulting in a significant loss of room tax revenue across the industry.
In addition to Arizona, where the president is traveling on Monday, Nevada is also a state where election officials believe Trump’s expanded Latino support in November could make a difference. Latinos make up around 19 percent of the eligible voters in Nevada.
Towards the end of his winding 90-minute Saturday night speech, the president nodded to the key role of Hispanic voters in the state, and possibly the country, and pointed to a poll claiming he was leading Biden among that constituency
In reality, Biden leads Trump in double digits among Hispanics nationally, despite a Marist-NBC poll released Wednesday showing Trump 4-point ahead of Hispanic voters in Florida. That raises questions about a possible tectonic shift in Hispanic support toward the incumbent Republican after Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton promoted two-thirds of Hispanics in Florida in 2016.
And it’s another cause for concern among Democrats, some of whom have criticized the Biden campaign for months for a lack of effort in Hispanic communities in Florida, Arizona, and Nevada.
By September, the Trump campaign had surpassed Biden on Spanish-language television. However, the Biden campaign recently announced to POLITICO that it had increased its ad spend and outperformed Trump on Spanish-speaking channels last week, and that it had also increased its workforce among the Hispanic public.
An official involved in the Trump campaign claimed the president’s support among Hispanic voters nationally had reached 30 to 35 percent in some internal polls, despite the official’s refusal to share the data with POLITICO.
Trump’s allies have a number of reasons for its increasing popularity with Hispanics. Some claim the pre-pandemic economy, where Hispanic unemployment rate hit a record low of 3.9 percent a year ago, helped more Hispanics feel comfortable supporting the president despite his racially insensitive rhetoric and politics. Others believe Biden held political positions that alienate Hispanic Catholics and workers in parts of Nevada, Arizona and Florida.
Trump suggested he would do well with Hispanic voters on Saturday night in November because they “like tough people, they like people who will create jobs. By the way, Hispanics know the line better than anyone.”