Democratic nominee Joe Biden delivered a speech in front of around 30 socially-distanced cars of supporters at a “drive-in rally” on Monday in a warring event with Vice President Mike Pence who was also in the Buckeye State.
The 77-year-old gave remarks on the economy in front of United Auto Workers in a half-empty Toledo parking lot as Pence spoke to hundreds of supporters in the capitol of Columbus on Columbus Day.
Biden’s 25-minute speech was at times also derailed by supporters of President Trump, who stood on a nearby street corner and loudly chanted “four more years” as the Democratic presidential hopeful spoke.
Biden delivered familiar remarks on how he believed the 2020 presidential race was “between Scranton and Park Avenue” or “Toledo and Park Avenue” — a dig at President Trump’s history as a Manhattan real estate tycoon.
“He spent too much time in the bunker of his golf course than in the Oval Office,” the former veep said.
“He turned his back on you. I promise I will never do that,” he went on.
Trump handily won Ohio by 8 points in 2016 but a new Baldwin Wallace poll released Sunday gave Trump a slim two-point lead over Biden, making the Midwestern state a toss-up.
Biden didn’t necessarily get a warm welcome, with Trump supporters lining a road to the union hall, waving “Trump 2020” flags and far outnumbering the Democratic nominee’s fans.
The commander-in-chief skewered the poor attendance at Biden’s rally, although the former veep’s supporters said his campaign had deliberately limited the crowd size to stop the potential spread of COVID-19.
“Almost nobody showed up to the Sleepy Joe Biden ‘Rally’ in Ohio. The reporting and polls are a Media Con Job – Fake News,” Trump tweeted on Monday afternoon.
“We have far more support and enthusiasm than even in 2016. November 3rd. will be a great day for America!!!” he went on.
In a subsequent tweet, the president poked fun at Biden’s mask wearing, writing: “So Biden is coughing and hacking and playing ‘fingers’ with his mask, all over the place, and the Fake News doesn’t want to even think about discussing it.”
At the end of his speech the former veep flubbed his lines, telling voters to head to “iwill.com” instead of “iwillvote.com,” the Democrats’ voting participation hub, and turned to a worker for help getting off the stage.
“Vote! Visit ‘iwill.com/Ohio.’ God bless you and God bless the auto workers. God protect- thank you!” he said.
“Which way am I going?” he then asked his campaign staff, speaking into the mic.
Some 140 miles away in Columbus, Pence spoke to hundreds of supporters, according to the vice president’s pool reporter.
On the 528th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas, Pence accused Biden of giving in to “radical voices that want to cancel our culture and erase our history.”
“We will not allow our country and all its history and culture to be taken away from us. That’s one more reason why we need four more years of President Trump in the White House,” he said to cheers from the crowd.
Biden did not mention the federal holiday in his speech but earlier Monday released a statement celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which recognizes the impact of colonization on native populations, instead of Columbus Day.
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