Trump criticizes Biden at a rally and continues to tease the 2024 race

Donald Trump used a rally in Pennsylvania to vent his anger over the FBI search of his Florida home and President Joe Biden’s attack on political extremism, making him his successor’s electoral rival in 2024.

In declaring Biden an “enemy of the state,” Trump mixed support for two Republican candidates with a retort to the president’s speech 48 hours earlier in Philadelphia, where Biden denounced what he called anti-democratic forces within the Trump movement.

“Joe Biden came to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to deliver the most vicious, hateful, and divisive speech ever delivered by an American president,” the former president said Saturday in Wilkes-Barre. “Her speech from him was one of hate and anger.”

Trump then launched into a speech full of complaints about the FBI’s search, the five-year investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia, emails from former opponent Hillary Clinton, the outcome of the 2020 election, the crime, the Mexican border and social issues – media giants with whom his own company now competes – as he lavished praise on Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

“We are going to take back America and take back America,” Trump said. “And in 2024, most importantly, we are going to take back our magnificent White House.”

Taking aim at the FBI, he claimed that the Biden administration “invaded the home of his main political opponent, who is absolutely destroying him at the polls.”

“This egregious abuse of the law is going to produce a backlash like no one has seen before,” Trump said.

Trump’s claim was contradicted by an August 17-25 Wall Street Journal poll, conducted after the Mar-a-Lago search, that showed Biden leading the former president in a hypothetical rematch of the 2020 election by 50. % to 44%. The two had been tied in March.

Trump’s speech was apparently to endorse Republicans Doug Mastriano for governor and Mehmet Oz for the US Senate, candidates he backed in this spring’s primaries. Both candidates are trailing in the polls, with control of the US Senate and a key 2024 battleground state at stake.

Medium-term approach

Trump’s speech focused on the presidency, framing the November midterm elections as “a referendum on the corruption and extremism of Joe Biden and the Radical Democratic Party.” In a speech that lasted nearly two hours and began 40 minutes late, the former president broke few new ground as he aired family grievances.

About 70 minutes later, Trump finally attacked Oz’s opponent, the Democratic lieutenant governor. John Fetterman, whom he called a “spoiled, titled socialist loser.”

“John Fetterman is the most dangerous Democrat seeking to join Congress this year and one of the most fringe far-left freakshows to ever seek election in any state,” Trump said.

“More and more lies from Trump and Dr. Oz,” the Fetterman campaign said in response.

Despite an enthusiastic crowd in northeastern Pennsylvania, Trump’s stormy speech found a smaller national audience for his message, as the highly rated Fox News declined to cover the speech live.

Trump delivered a fairly familiar routine in which he discussed wind power, electric cars, the stock market and air conditioning at Wilkes-Barre’s Mohegan Sun Arena.

Trump’s endorsement of Oz over former Bridgewater Associates CEO David McCormick in the Republican primary for the Pennsylvania Senate in May propelled Oz to a 951-vote victory after an automatic recount. But Oz has failed in the general election race against Fetterman, even though the lieutenant governor was off the campaign trail after suffering a stroke in April.

Biden has traveled to Pennsylvania twice in the past week and is scheduled to return on Labor Day, including a stop in Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday, just a few miles from Trump’s rally. Biden beat Trump by 80,555 votes in Pennsylvania in 2020 after Trump won the Commonwealth by 44,292 votes in the 2016 election.

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