With just eight days to go before Election Day, President Donald Trump returned to Pennsylvania on Monday for a trio of rallies that saw him rehashing old grievances about voting by mail; warning of the dangers of a “Biden Depression,” and falsely accusing Gov. Tom Wolf of having “your whole commonwealth shutdown.”
Trump’s 80-minute speech in Northampton County, which he flipped in 2016, but where one poll shows him trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden by 12 percentage points, was the first of three that the Republican president was to hold Monday in the must-win battleground state.
“You have a governor named Tom Wolf, I guess?” Trump said, according to the Morning Call of Allentown. “Your government made it almost impossible to find a site. Normally, we would have had [this] at an airport. … I’ll remember it, Tom.”
Trump accused Wolf, a Democrat, of having “your whole commonwealth shut down,” before going on to claim that state and national restrictions would vanish after Election Day. According to the Call, that claim has roots in a conspiracy theory that the COVID-19 pandemic, which has cost more than 220,000 lives nationwide and more than 8,500 in Pennsylvania, was engineered to cost Trump the election.
Trump’s claim was false. While some school districts have chosen to go with remote learning, and some occupancy restrictions remain in place, Wolf allowed businesses across the commonwealth to reopen months ago. Republicans, however, have continued to accuse him of overstepping his executive authority.
This shouldn’t be a surprise.
Governing by edict for over half a year has its consequences.
The people are pushing back.
— Rep. Seth Grove (@RepGrove) October 26, 2020
During a stop in Lancaster County, Trump said he would “continue to fight for American workers. No one has fought harder,” PennLive reported.
Trump repeated the false claim that Biden wanted to end fracking. The Democrat has said he would ban new leases on federal land. Most leases are in private hands or on state land.
Trump was set to end his day with a rally in heavily Republican Blair County.
Biden holds an average lead of 5 percent in Pennsylvania, according to the RealClear politics polling average. Trump, who snapped a decades-old Democratic streak when he carried Pennsylvania by less than a percentage point in 2016, has claimed the race is far closer.